Two newspapers are pitted against each other. One owned by gangster Charles Gillette (Lloyd Nolan), the other by Ralph Houston (Fred MacMurray).
The story of a big-city crusading newspaper editor, Tod Swain (Charles Ruggles),who placed principle and honest journalism ahead of life itself, only to have his own daughter, Vina Swain (Frances Farmer), undo his work. Charles Gillette (Lloyd Nolan, a corrupt politician, sets out to wreak vengeance on Swain's reformist newspaper, by establishing his own scandal-sheet, yellow journalism tabloid which he uses for muck-raking and blackmail purposes. He tries to lure Swain and his best reporter, Ralph Houston (Fred MacMurray) by offering them highly-tempting salaries, but they both remain loyal to the large circulation paper they had help build. When Vina, sweetheart of Houston, hears of this she is furious. Unable to understand the principles of her father and sweetheart, she accepts the position of investigative reporter on Gillette's paper. She soon becomes the newspaper sensation of the town. Gillette uses her ability to dig up, of the past, a story of one of the town's most-respected merchants. causing him to commit suicide. Swain's publisher forces him to write the story of the suicide. Sticking to his principle of clean and accurate journalism, he begins the story with the dramatic sentence: Tonight, my daughter killed a man. When Vina's usefulness becomes outlived by Gillette, he decides to have her "put out of the way", fearful that she will reveal the extent of his corruption.
—-Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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