Cast & Crew
Having failed to cover the "maniac killer" story for the New York Tabloid , drunken reporter Andy Bryant awakens on a bench at a California train station. When his city editor, Maxie, refuses to wire him return funds, the out-of-work journalist visits his old friend, Van Every, the city editor of the Evening Herald . Herald publisher John Ward is offering Doris Corbin, publisher of the rival and smaller Dispatch , a meager $20,000 for her paper, which she reluctantly accepts in principle. After the despondent Doris departs, Ward cannot control his avaricious glee at crushing his competition. When Praskins, a reporter formerly with the Dispatch , refuses to author a piece detrimental to his old paper, Ward fires him and writes it himself. Alone with Ward, Andy is accused of being a drunken menace and of serving up the lowest form of journalism...exposure. Andy wrangles a job without pay as city editor at the Dispatch , convincing Doris not to sell the paper that was founded by her late father. When Ward reveals Andy's drinking history to Doris, Andy agrees not to touch a drop of liquor while employed at her paper. Intent on having "Old Man Ward" squirm, Andy then hires Praskins and steals Nosey Newton away from the Herald . His first headline--"Herald Lies. Dispatch Deal Untrue"--is followed by other sensational banners, including one implicating Jimmy Delane, who favors himself the boyfriend of Gerri Ward, the publisher's daughter, in a crooked bail bond scheme. Jimmy confronts Andy and claims libel, but is further infuriated when Andy pretends to receive an affectionate phone call from Gerri. Six months later, bankers Carlson and Foster inform Ward that the Herald 's circulation and advertising revenue are down, threatening to replace him with Andy. Ward, in an effort to discredit his rival, places a spy on the Dispatch 's payroll, who tries to induce Andy to drink again. Andy proposes to Doris, but she refuses, fearful his drinking problem will resurface and destroy their marriage. After a meeting between Andy and the two bankers, in which Andy refuses their lucrative offer to run the Herald , Andy meets Doris and warns her not to visit a speakeasy that is to be raided and expose a bunch of young men, including Carlson's son Harry, who was arrested in a fight over Foster's daughter Eileen. Eileen pleads with Doris not to defame her family name in the paper, after which Doris kills the story and begins to wonder how many terrible tragedies newspapers like the Dispatch have brought on innocent people by peeping through keyholes and exposing scandal. Andy then quits, using the excuse that his old paper, the Tabloid , has asked him to return to New York. Doris asks him to reconsider, and even offers to marry him, but he refuses to make a bargain he cannot keep. As he leaves the building, three thugs attack him. Leaving him unconscious, they return to Jimmy and report that their victim will be hospitalized for a month. Andy's beating, however, proves only mildly disorienting, and he stumbles back into the office washroom. Taking Inky, the office boy, Nosey and Praskins into his confidence, Andy hatches a plan to discover who was behind his attack. Ward acknowledges to Andy his duplicity in placing his man on Andy's payroll, but insists he is not a man of violence. Realizing it was Jimmy who perpetrated the attack, he and Gerri go to Jimmy's apartment. Doris, who has learned of the attack on Andy, arrives at Jimmy's as a fistfight begins. Jimmy pulls a gun, and in the struggle, a bullet fatally strikes Gerri, who reveals to her father as she dies that "Andy is not to blame." A short time later the two papers are merged. Andy, now city editor of the Herald-Dispatch , receives an urgent telephone call. He rushes from the office and is presented with a first edition at the hospital, an eight-pound baby boy born to his wife Doris.
The above cast credits are based on a viewing of the film; however, Photoplay credits Sidney Bracy with the role of "Praskins" and Pat O'Malley with the role of "Van Avery."