Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Most of Dressed to Kill takes place at a swank nightclub which serves as an Underworld rendezvous. Heroine Jean (Mary Astor) hopes to recover the bonds that her imprisoned sweetheart is accused of stealing. To do this, Jean sidles up to mob boss Mile-Away Barry (Edmund Lowe), figuring that he was the mastermind behind the theft. Unfortunately, the crooks play for keeps, and by Reel Five it looks as though Jean is going to be taken "for a ride." But Mile-Away Barry undergoes a sudden change of heart, putting his own life on the line to save Jean's. One symbolic touch -- the chief heavy dying from police bullets under an advertising billboard reading "You Can't Win" -- was borrowed from Josef Von Sternberg's Salvation Hunters and would be used again, with variations, in Howard Hawks' Scarface.
bad-guy-turns-good, criminal, damsel-in-distress, false-accusation, gangster, imprisonment, mastermind, rescue, self-sacrifice, underworld