PRESERVATION STATUS: UPDATE: Newly restored!
Only one (very dirty) print exists and is located at the UCLA Film Archive. A picture negative exists at the Library of Congress Archive). UPDATE: 5/6/98-Library of Congress has preserved this feature from Paramount’s original negative, but is missing picture for one reel. Funding (though dramatically less) is still needed to restore picture to this (most likely from the UCLA print).
Paramount-Publix Corp. 1932. Directed by Richard Wallace. Based on Willard Mack’s melodrama.
CAST: Clara Bow (Molly Hewes), Regis Toomey (Chick Hewes), Wynne Gibson (Myrtle Sylvester), Leslie Fenton (Charlie), Donald Crisp (Garvey), Paul Hurst (Detective Whip Fogarty), Juliette Compton (Piccadilly Bessie), James Murray (Benny LaMarr) and Wade Boteler (Jack Diggs).
CRIME DRAMA. Chick Hewes is released from prison and finds work as an accountant. Two years later, Chick’s crooked friend, Benny LaMarr, to whom he is indebted for past kindnesses, steals a diamond necklace from the home safe of the district attorney. When the district attorney threatens to accuse the police of inefficiency in crime fighting, Garvey, who is campaigning for the office of police commissioner, promises to catch the thief in twenty-four hours. Because Garvey suspects Benny, Detective Whip Fogarty, who put Chick in prison, goes after Chick to locate Benny. While Chick and his wife Molly celebrate her birthday, her brother Charlie, a drug addict, hides Benny, who has been shot, in Chick’s apartment. When Fogarty arrives, Benny’s girl friend Myrtle cuts her finger to cover for the blood stains on Chick’s couch, but Fogarty arrests her, then picks up Molly and Chick. At the station, Garvey tells Myrtle all he wants is the necklace, but she refuses to talk and is released along with Chick and Molly. At home, Charlie tells Chick that Benny is in the attic, bleeding to death. As he dies, Benny offers to give the diamonds to Chick, but cannot find them. While Myrtle pleads with Molly to let her see Benny, Chick dumps his body in the river and returns with Benny’s gun. Molly then accuses Charlie of taking the necklace, saying, “Come on, kick in.” After Charlie runs into the hands of waiting police, Myrtle kills herself in the attic just as Fogarty arrives and promises amnesty if the necklace is returned. Chick gives him the necklace, but Fogarty double-crosses them and Molly is forced to knock him out with the gun. Chick then resigns himself to a life of crime until Molly tells him she is pregnant. Molly and Chick go to the police station with Fogarty’s partner, Jack Diggs, after an unsuccessful attempt at meeting with the district attorney. Garvey then forces Molly to confess she is covering for Charlie, who is being interrogated. Charlie admits he stole the necklace from Benny, and Chick pulls the necklace from Digg’s pocket, where Chick had hidden it. When Garvey learns that the Heweses are having a baby, he releases them along with Charlie. (Information from “The American Film Institute of Feature Films”.)
NOTE: According to Variety, Richard Wallace was brought in as director in the middle of production on this film because Paramount believed the original director was shooting too much footage of Regis Toomey. The identity of the first director is not known. Willard Mack’s play was the source for a 1917 Astra Film Corp./Pathe film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring William Courtenay and Mollie King and a f1922 Famous Players-Lasky film also directed by Fitzmaurice and starring Betty Compson and Bert Lytell. The 1914 Broadway version of the play starred John Barrymore. Mack’s play was also produced on stage in New York in 1925.