A newspaper editor has his paper closed but tries to save it by tracking down kidnappers and reporting the story.
Editor Mike Cassidy (Melvyn Douglas) honors 75-year-old Mary Anderson (Zeffie Tilbury), but new owner Matt Cooper (Douglass Dumbrille) closes The Guardian. Mike declines to work for Cooper's exploitative Record. Bartender Vic gives Mike a $100 bill that is from the kidnapping ransom, and he learns it came from jeweler Charlie Daggett. Mike tells Cooper he has a story for his old paper; but when Cooper calls the police, Mike runs out. At a school witness Ellen Frazier (Louise Platt) is protected by police. Mike breaks in and pretends to be a lawyer, persuading Ellen to leave with him by sneaking out the back. In a taxi Mike tells Ellen who he is and asks her to help him find the kidnappers. They call on Daggett. While Mike asks about the $100, Ellen leaves. Mike gets an address but finds Ellen gone. On a bus Mike learns the police want him. Mike calls on Dr. Lovelake (Halliwell Hobbes) and his wife (Jean Fenwick), learning the bill came from Jim Alley. Mike finds Ellen looking for him and sends her to Davie Bryant (Harlan Briggs) at The Guardian; but she is abducted into a car.
Mike finds black Jim Alley is dead as black people mourn. Mike learns that Alley was run over by a car after he was treated for a knife wound. Ruby Alley (Theresa Harris) says she gave Alley the $100 that she got from her employer. Mike hears Lorna Travers (Florence George) sing and asks her about the $100. Calling Davie, Mike learns that Ellen is not there. Mike goes to Cooper, who takes the $100. Cooper is going to have Mike turned in; but Mike learns Cooper got it from gambler Arno (Gene Lockhart). Mike tells Arno it was ransom money. Arno says his brother Phil handles the money, and a gang was there that night. Arno gives Mike a small gun and accuses his brother Phil (Tom Collins), saying he sent Mike to be killed. Mike is knocked out and put in a truck. In the back Phil asks Mike to help him. They untie Ellen and jump out the back. Two men chase them and shoot as Mike carries Phil. Mike fights one man and gets his gun, then captures the other man. At The Guardian Ellen says Phil is dead and faints. Mike dictates the story to Davie, and they print it. Ellen thanks Mike and asks him for a job. In the final scene Mary Anderson tells Cooper she is ashamed of him; but he says he will never close The Guardian.
This drama depicts a variety of characters in diverse
social situations as this desperate newspaper man fearlessly seeks
criminals and his precious story.