Cast & Crew
Hard-drinking fruit picker Sam Wire is arrested by crooked policeman Tip Hogan for participating in a bar fight, and after Hogan steals Sam's money, and that of fellow brawler Dumbo, he dumps both men past the town limits. Dumbo, an ex-wrestler who was forced to quit due to a head injury, explains to Sam that he is searching for his girl friend Silk, and that they may be able to learn the whereabouts of both their money and the girl from Nick Cantrell, the gambling kingpin who runs the town with Hogan as his enforcer. Sam and Dumbo then walk to Cantrell's home, where they find Silk. Dumbo is crushed to learn that Silk, who had promised to wait for him while he was seeking his fortune, is now married to Cantrell, but Sam's toughness prompts Cantrell to return their money. When Silk remarks upon Sam's resemblance to Cantrell, the racketeer offers Sam a mysterious, one-night job, but Sam refuses. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Ann Marlowe, a reporter who warns Cantrell to stop threatening to hurt her father Dan, the publisher of their newspaper, if he does not write stories favorable to Cantrell and against Jake Schultz. Schultz, a crude gangster, is trying to wrest control of the gambling market from Cantrell, and, unknown to Cantrell, also has Hogan on his payroll. After Ann leaves, Sam goes to Dan's office and enters just in time to prevent Dan from committing suicide. Dan confides in Sam that he can no longer take the pressures of fighting Cantrell, but Sam assures him and Ann that he will help them topple Cantrell and Schultz. Sam and Dumbo then return to Cantrell's house, where Sam accepts the job. Silk teaches Cantrell's mannerisms to Sam, and the next night, dressed as Cantrell, Sam goes to Schultz's nightclub and steals his secret ledgers. Cantrell hopes that the books will incriminate Schultz for his illegal targeting of the immigrants and fruit pickers who gamble at his club, but Sam pulls a gun on him and demands that Cantrell make him his partner. Ann, who has witnessed the confrontation, accuses Sam of being no better than Cantrell, but Cantrell handcuffs them together and drops them off outside town. Cantrell then returns to town, where he intends to murder Schultz and frame Sam for the murder, but he is instead shot by Hogan, who wants to run the town with Schultz. On their way home, Sam reveals to Ann that he is a drifting newsman working undercover for police chief Jim Murphy. Upon their arrival, they are captured by Hogan, who intends to frame them for Cantrell's death, but they succeed in escaping, and Sam then hides Cantrell's body. When they reach Cantrell's house, they find that Silk has shot Dumbo to get him out of the way. Sam informs Silk that Cantrell is dead, and then lays a plan with her to get $15,000 from his club before his body is found. Silk tries to double-cross Sam by warning Schultz that Sam is after him, but Sam tells Schultz that they can pin Cantrell's murder on Silk. As Silk attempts to make her getaway with Cantrell's money, she is chased by Hogan and killed when her car careens off a cliff. Sam then lures Hogan into the ambush set for him by Schultz, and after the gangster accidentally kills the policeman, he is shot by Murphy's men. As Murphy is congratulating Sam on cleaning up the town, Dan and Ann arrive, and are assured that they are now safe. Ann asks Sam to stay and work on the newspaper, and although he initially refuses, a coin toss changes his mind and Sam decides to end his days as a drifter.