After holding out for several months, MGM decided to take the talking-picture plunge with Alias Jimmy Valentine. Actually, the film is 90% silent, with a few arbitrarily inserted talkie sequences. Digressing but little from the oft-filmed O. Henry original, the plot concerns a reformed safecracker, here played by popular MGM light leading man William Haines. While working at an honest job at a bank, Haines' past comes back to haunt him in the form of relentless detective Lionel Barrymore. Haines is able to throw the cop off the trail until a little girl is locked in the bank's vault. Forced to utilize his highly individualized safecracking technique to rescue the girl, Haines is certain that he's destined for a long prison term. But Barrymore, taking into consideration Haines' good deed-not to mention his romance with boss' daughter Leila Hyams-pretends not to notice, and lets the former criminal off scot-free.
by Hal Erickson synopsis