Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
This is another of those quick (54 minute) programmers that "Republic Pictures" cranked out by the barrel full.
This one has just out of Law School Lawyers, Robert Clarke and Ross Ford starting up their own practice. They rent a small office and wait for the clients to roll in. They end up sitting on their butts till a businessman down the hall, John Eldredge, hires them to defend one of his employees. The man, Roy Barcroft, is really a mobbed up guy who runs the local slot machine racket.
Barcroft, (a thug if ever there was one) is up on a murder beef. It seems he blew up a bar that had refused to use his slots. It was a message to all the local club and bar owners to not refuse his offer. Lawyer Clarke takes to the work like a shark to blood and soon springs Barcroft.
Clarke's girl, Penny Edwards, is not at all happy with Clarke defending "those criminal types". Clarke's partner, Ross Ford is not at all happy with the setup either. He quits and joins the District Attorney's office.
Clarke continues to work for Eldredge's company, even though he knows the outfit is just a front for the mob. He also knows that Eldredge is just the public face, while Barcroft is the real boss.
Barcroft decides it is time to expand his hold on the slots racket. He blows up the boss, Charles Wagenhiem, of the other slot machine supplier. This of course brings loads more Police pressure on the rackets. Barcroft though, is an old school type who believes violence fixes everything.
Lawyer Clarke has decided to stop working for Eldredge and Barcroft so he can marry his darling, Miss Edwards. He also wants time to spend with his ill mother, Helen Wallace. Clarke and Edwards get hitched and go off on their honeymoon. Half way through they get a call from Eldredge offering $10,000 to represent Barcroft again. It seems there had been a witness to Barcroft blowing up Wagenhiem and his warehouse. Clarke accepts because he can use the money to help his mother get the proper care for her illness. (bad heart)
By this time, mob front man, Eldredge, is getting sick of the life and the increasingly crazy Barcroft. He shows Clarke a secret safe where he has documents, ledgers etc on all the crooked dealing he and Barcroft have done. He has decided to turn States evidence on Barcroft and take a light sentence.
Needless to say Mister Barcroft is less than amused with his partner's idea when he finds out. He pulls a .38 and kills Eldredge right in front of Clarke. This is a more than subtle hint for Clarke to not step out of line and annoy Barcroft.
Clarke heads home thinking about what he should do. He calls his ex-partner, Ross Ford at the DA's office. He tells him about the killing and that he should grab up Barcroft and his crew. Clarke says he will supply enough evidence to send Barcroft to the chair.
Clarke drives back to Eldredge's office to grab the papers from the secret safe Eldredge had shown him. He is going to give it all to the Police. This idea goes south as Barcroft catches him with the stuff. Barcroft goes for his piece but Clarke flattens him with a solid punch. Clarke then races out and leaps in his car with the papers. He floors the beast and heads for the Police. Barcroft is quickly in hot pursuit with one of his henchmen.
There is a pretty good chase sequence with Clarke leading Barcroft through the streets. Clarke beats Barcroft to the Police Station by a whisker. He takes the evidence and runs to the Station. Barcroft pulls up, plugs Clarke with a nifty bit of marksmanship. He grabs the evidence from the wounded Clarke and jumps back into his car.
The Police are just as quick off the mark and the pursuit now has Barcroft as the rabbit in front. Barcroft and his driver soon fail to make a turn and crash into the side of a building. Barcroft beats the feet down the street but is soon cornered. He has no intention of coming quietly, and is soon suffering from a severe lead overdose.
This quick and to the point programmer has Republic regular, R.G. Springsteen handling the directing chores. His films include, REVOLT IN THE BIG HOUSE, DOUBLE JEOPARDY, WHEN GANGLAND STRIKES, SECRET VENTURE, I COVER THE UNDERWORLD and SECRET SERVICE INVESTIGATOR.
Handling the director of photography chores is equally long serving Republic staple, John MacBurnie. MacBurnie started out on serials like, RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON, CAPTAIN America, JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN and THE BLACK WIDOW. He then moved on to B-westerns and low rent crime and film noir. These include, SECRET SERVICE INVESTIGATOR, HIDEOUT, THE RED MEANCE, FEDERAL AGENT AT LARGE, POST OFFICE INVESTIGATOR, MISSING WOMEN and INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR. Several of these like, HIDEOUT, POST OFFICE INVESTIGATOR and INSURANCE INVESTIGATOR are quite nifty low renters.
Roy Barcroft appeared in 375 plus different film and television productions. He was pretty well always the villain of the piece.
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