I am really shocked that "Framed" is not a more famous film. I am also surprised that it's somehow lapsed into the public domain--an inglorious ending to a terrific gangster film.
Evelyn Brent plays Rose Manning--one of the hardest dames you could ever see in Pre-Code gangster films. Shortly after the film begins, Rose learns that the one person in life she cared about, her father, has been killed in a shootout with the cops. She blames Inspector McArthur (William Holden--NOT the one you're thinking about, but an older actor of the same name) and wants her revenge. However, she's a smart cookie and her revenge will be slow in coming. In the meantime, she becomes pals with a hood named Bing (the aptly named Maurice Black) and they open a classy gambling hall named after her.
Time passes and finally you learn of Rose's plan. She has seduced Inspector McArthur's very naive son, Jimmy (Regis Toomey) and she knows this will drive the Inspector nuts! How did she do it? She convinced the young dummy that she is an innocent lady who truly loves him! Not surprisingly, when Jimmy tells his father, there is a HUGE blowup between them and Jimmy won't believe that his fiancée is a criminal. However, Bing is NOT a subtle sort of guy. Despite Rose's plan, he decides the best thing to do is just kill Jimmy. But when Rose learns of this, you see that this hard-hearted dame MIGHT just have fallen for the squirt. What's next? See this film.
This film has so much going for it. Most importantly, at the time this film was made, Radio Pictures was doing a great job with sound pictures. I have seen several of their films from 1929-1930 and the sound is VERY clear and the actors don't tend to stand around hidden microphones--a serious problem with many of the early talkies. Additionally, the film, while a tad sentimental at the end, is great because the bad people really are awful and the film avoids pulling its punches. I'd stack this crime film up along side the best of the genre of the day ("Little Caesar", "Scarface" and "The Public Enemy")--due to wonderful writing, acting and a professional production all around. Well worth seeing--and available for free download at archive.org.