Cast & Crew
On a stormy night, two policemen, Kelly and Dempsey, are driving near an abandoned lighthouse when they have a flat tire. While Dempsey changes the tire, Kelly reads of the appointment of Patrick Aloysius Clancy as police commissioner. Clancy has announced that his first job will be to eliminate the arch criminal known as The Octopus of Crime. When Kelly and Dempsey hear a woman scream, they stop to pick her up and learn that her name is Vesta Vernoff and that she saw her stepfather dead in the lighthouse. Learning that he is the inventor of a radium ray wanted by The Octopus, they decide to investigate, hoping to collect the $50,000 reward for the capture of The Octopus. Dempsey, Kelly and Vesta arrive at the lighthouse and see a body hanging in the lighthouse tower. They encounter Paul Morgan, who claims to be a painter who has rented the lighthouse as a studio. Paul and Vesta recognize each other, but in the presence of Dempsey and Kelly, he pretends he does not know her. Then Captain Hook and Mr. Cobb arrive at the lighthouse with a drenched woman, Polly Crane. A little later, Nanny, Vesta's housekeeper, arrives as well. Dempsey and Kelly manage to get the body down from the tower only to discover that it is a dummy. Paul pulls a gun on the group, just as octopus tentacles lock all the doors. Tear gas is piped in and the entire group escapes to the cellar. Kelly puts on a diving suit he finds there and dives into the water, where he encounters a real octopus. Paul shows papers identifying him as a federal agent, while Hook reveals that he is an intelligence agent. Polly represents the Peace League. Everyone is interested in the formula for the radium ray. Eventually, they decide to split the reward evenly between them. Just then, police commissioner Clancy arrives and identifies himself as Vesta's stepfather. With Clancy in her power, Nanny reveals that she is The Octopus and leaves the rest behind to face certain death. While searching for the escape lever, Kelly blows up the lighthouse. He then wakes to discover that he fainted in the hospital after learning that his wife had given birth to twins and has been dreaming the whole unfortunate story. Dempsey soon discovers, however, that his wife had twins, not Kelly's, and faints in turn.
The original play opened in New York on 21 February 1928.