Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 1928 Fox comedy-drama Square Crooks was based on James P. Judge's stage play of the same name (back then, "square" meant "honest", not "clueless"). After their release from prison, petty criminals Johnny Mack Brown and Robert Armstrong decide to go straight and seek out legitimate employment. But every time they land a job, it is ruined by the interference of an obnoxious detective, who refuses to believe that the two heroes are sincere. Not long after losing their jobs at a ritzy mansion, their ex-employer reports the theft of a diamond necklace. The detective is convinced that Brown and Armstrong are the thieves, obliging the duo to prove their innocence with the help of Brown's ever-loving wife Dorothy Dwan. As it turns out, the mystery is resolved by Brown and Dwan's little daughter, who uncovers the evidence necessary to trap the real culprits. Square Crooks was remade in 1934 as the Shirley Temple vehicle Baby Take a Bow.
detective, false-accusation, going-straight, honesty, honor [recognition], jewel, robbery, unemployment