A Damon Runyon story that sinks like a stone thanks to a terrible child actress and a slide into sentimental nonsense.
Martin Martin (Pat O’Brien) and Dane Cory (Wayne Morris) bump off a double crosser who stole cash from them. Five years go by. Martin is a hotshot living in a Park Avenue penthouse and Cory is a Broadway producer.
Ambrose (Lawrence Cregar) is a blackmailer who plays both sides and causes the D.A.’s men to raid the penthouse. Martin escapes via the dumb waiter.
At the theater, Cory is featuring his girlfriend Lily White, nicknamed “Beautiful Mama” as the star of his new show. Martin shows up during rehearsal. Cory tells his henchman Cute Freddy to cover him outside. Martin tries to get Cory to come with him. Freddy starts shooting. Martin fires back killing him but he stops one in the shoulder.
Wounded he heads for the Village to try and find Cory. He sees the paper with his picture on the front page. He’s wanted for murder.
Lily lives in the Village with her little girl Elsie (Gayle Reed) and her dog Skipper. Cory can’t stand either one of them. He literally kicks the dog outside injuring its eye. Martin is holed up in an abandoned building across the street. He doesn’t know how close he is to Cory.
The dog befriends him. Martin takes a look at his injury and names him Johnny One-Eye. Elsie finds him and the syrupy storyline begins. She sees his picture in the paper but she can’t read. Martin tells her he’s Santa Claus and she believes it.
After a long and agonizing Elsie-Martin storyline, Martin makes his way to a pet shop. The vet running it was a medic in WWII and takes the bullet out of Martin’s shoulder. He gives him the bad news that the dog isn’t long for this world.
Martin makes it over to Ambrose’s place. Cory offered him ten grand to bring Martin to him. Martin offers him twenty-five grand to get Cory. A man from the D.A.’s office is there and says he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t take Martin in. Martin gets out of there when the D.A.s man kills Ambrose.
Now there’s more Elsie-Martin. Of course there’s a showdown before it all finally comes to an end. The ending is just as bad as the rest of this waste of time.
Wayne Morris appeared in a lot of Westerns. On TV he starred in “The Adventures Of The Big Man” in 1956 as Bill Pierce.
Gayle Reed only appeared in one more movie, 1952’s “Because Of You” and then disappeared.