Cast & Crew
Newspaper publisher Ulysses Bradford writes an editorial in his newspaper, the Starr County World , accusing John Cleveland Carter, his friend and publisher of the New York Gazette , of abusing the freedom of the press and running articles harmful to the wartime security of the United States. Carter agrees with his friend's criticisms, and decides to operate his paper in a more responsible manner. Opposing Carter in his decision to clean up the Gazette is the paper's co-owner, Howard Rankin, who is using the newspaper to further his personal interests. To ensure that the paper remains unchanged, Rankin has Carter assassinated, and frames Jerry Purvis, a former Gazette employee, for the crime. When Bradford learns that Carter has bequeathed a controlling interest in the Gazette to him, he tells Carter's secretary, Edwina Stephens, that he is not interested in the job. Edwina, however, succeeds in persuading Bradford to accept the responsibility by appealing to his sense of public duty. Soon after taking the post, though, Bradford is ousted from the paper by Rankin and other staff members, who complain that the new publisher is not sophisticated enough for the job. Rankin takes over the paper and immediately begins a smear campaign against Purvis to sway public opinion against the innocent man. While trying to appeal his ouster, Bradford rallies to the defense of Purvis and posts a reward offer in the Starr County World for information leading to his exoneration. A "newsie" comes forward with information that will clear Purvis, but Oscar Trent, one of Rankin's men, throws him down an elevator shaft before he can make a deposition. Following a staged riot by one of Rankin's men, the managing editor of the Gazette , Griff Thompson, realizes the extent of Rankin's corruption and joins Bradford in his fight to seek justice. The investigation into the newsie's death eventually turns up Trent as the prime suspect, and Rankin, fearing that his conspiracy will be exposed by Trent, has him murdered. Using a fake newspaper story to scare Rankin into thinking that Trent had made a complete confession before he died, Griff manages to wring a confession from Trent. After Rankin is arrested and Purvis is released from prison, Bradford dictates the next day's newspaper editorial, in which he condemns treason and argues for patriotism.
According to a September 1942 Hollywood Reporter news item, actress Virginia Field was to star opposite Lee Tracy. This film is unrelated to the 1928 Frank Capra-directed Columbia picture of the same title.