Adapted from Norman Krasna's Broadway hit A Small Miracle, Four Hours to Kill is a multi-plotted effort that can best be described as "Grand Hotel goes to the theater." Richard Barthelmess stars as Tony, a condemned murderer, who is handcuffed to Detective Taft (Charles Wilson) while en route to the death house. Tony breaks loose and heads for the theater, where the man who squealed on him is attending a play. As the killer prepares to rub out the stoolie, the action cuts away to the romance between a hatcheck boy (Joe Morrison) and his girlfriend (Helen Mack), which is complicated by the clerk's allegedly pregnant former love (Dorothy Tree). Another subplot involves unfaithful wife Gertrude Michael and her lover Ray Milland. All the various plotlines are knitted together in the climax, wherein Tony closes in on his intended victim.
by Hal Erickson synopsis