A man on the wrong side of the law has a chance to turn over a new leaf in this crime drama. Edward Carson (Spencer Tracy) is a gangster who made a fortune in bootlegging; however, his lawyer turned on him and set him up on a tax evasion charge that earned him a long stay in prison. While Carson is in stir, prohibition is repealed, and with illegal booze no longer a money-maker, Carson's underlings take up kidnapping as a way to earn a living. When the gang abducts Thomas and Lila Penfield (Howard Lally and Mary Mason) -- the son and daughter of Judge Penfield (Ralph Morgan), who presided at the trial that put Carson behind bars -- Carson is given a chance to redeem himself. He's released on the condition that he help the police track down his former partners in crime before the Judge's children can be harmed. Jane Lee (Claire Trevor), a crusading journalist covering the kidnapping, gets to know Carson, and before long, they develop a close bond both professionally and personally. Keep an eye peeled for Kathleen Burke, who won a substantial cult following for her performance the same year as Lota the Panther Woman in the horror classic The Island of Lost Souls.
by Mark Deming synopsis