Cast & Crew
Idealistic Oklahoma doctor Tom O'Hara arrives in New York to work in the public clinic of the poverty-sticken Bowery district. Nurse Anne Cleary warns Tom that he has a difficult job ahead, and his first taste of life in the Bowery comes when teenager Sock Dolan and his gang strip Tom's car. Tom remains committeed to public health, and one afternoon as he and Anne are inspecting various flophouses, they find young Scrubby, Sock's brother, who is desperately ill. They take Scrubby to the hospital, which outrages Sock, who has had a consuming hatred of doctors since his mother died in a hospital. Later, Tom refuses to give food wholesaler J. R. Mason certificates permitting him to sell his food to public institutions. Tom cites Mason's reputation for distributing rotten food and throws him out of his office. Mason goes to racketeer Blubber Mullins for help, and Mullins convinces Sock, who is seeking revenge upon Tom for taking Scrubby, to steal the certificates from Tom's desk. Sock, who is unaware that Mason's food is tainted, is aided in his illegal quest when Anne unwittingly hires him as an office assistant in the hopes that the attention and the structured environment will straighten the boy out. Sock is fascinated with Tom's medical equipment but feigns disinterest so as not to appear to be going "soft." Sock steals a signed certificate and gives it to Mason, who then sells his food to the local hospital. Later, Tom attends a party given by socialite Peggy Winters, who is attracted to Tom and encourages him to open a profitable private practice with her uncle George. While Tom is listening to the proposal, Sock and Anne receive word that the residents of Sock's flophouse, who ate at the hospital, have become seriously ill. Anne tries to reach Tom at the party, but after Peggy does not give Tom the urgent messages, she and Sock go to the fancy apartment themselves to get Tom. He is angered by Peggy's selfishness and rushes to the flophouse, where he is just in time to save the lives of those afflicted with the food poisoning. Sock realizes that the food came from Mason, but Mason and Mullins order him to keep quiet. The next day, however, the botulism spreads to the hospital itself, and many children, including Scrubby, become dangerously ill. The hospital staff deduces that Mason's company supplied the tainted food, and Tom and Anne realize that Sock must be involved as they did not give the certificate to Mason themselves. Sock disappears before they can find him, however, and he is kidnapped by Mason and Mullins when he confronts them. Tom is arrested for criminal negligence, and Anne organizes Sock's gang to search for Sock. The motley group finds Sock as Mason is about to kill him in a deserted warehouse, and takes him and Mason to Tom's office. Tom, who has been released on bail, tricks Mason into confessing his guilt by making him eat stew that he and Sock have laced with a nausea-inducing drug, and the police take Mason away. Tom expresses his love for Anne, and Sock, now resolved to lead a crime-free life, accidentally eats the stew.
John Victor Mackay
Hollywood Reporter news items and production charts list the following additional cast members, whose participation in the final film has not been confirmed: Carol Adams, Eva Puig, Connie Lee, Edward Stanley, William Benedict, James Blake and Ernie Adams. This film marked the directorial debut of William Morgan, who was formerly a film editor for Republic.