Hollywood 1950: The successful producer Larry O'Brian arrives in Los Angeles to found a motion picture company. He buys an old studio which was unused since the days of silent movies. He's ... See full summary »
Warner Baxter plays a security guard who was shot during a heist. The police believe he may be involved in the robbery, prompting the insurance company to investigate him. The insurance man, Luis Van Rooten, notices Baxter resembles Robert Ashton, a chemist who stole $100,000 from his company and went into hiding. Van Rooten contacts the chemical company and explains to the management he has found Ashton. Soon a lawyer (Charles Lane) contacts Van Rooten with a plan to keep a certain chemical company executive out of the story. It seems that Ashton may have had a co-conspirator working at the firm.
Things get interesting when Van Rooten learns that Baxter is in fact a man named Donovan and not Ashton. But this doesn't stop Van Rooten, who concocts an elaborate scheme where, for $165,000, he will deliver Baxter to the police. Baxter agrees to help fulfill Van Rooten's plan for $25,000. He turns himself over to the police and takes on Ashton's identity while awaiting trial. Ashton's wife is in on the scam, but she tells Baxter her husband was framed. Was Ashton's wife faithful or was she having an affair with one of Ashton's associates. And how does racketeer Vincent Sawyer (Noel Madison) fit into the story?
All the characters seem self serving and are holding back the truth. They all treat Baxter as a sap. But Baxter is wise to the ways of men and has a secret of his own. He plays along and tries to unveil the company executive who is responsible for all the dirty deals. It's pulled off in typical Columbia Pictures fashion. There are no expressionistic camera angles or under lit scenes. But there is plenty of double dealing and lies to keep noir film fans interested.
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