Slow mover best viewed as a moment in movie history. Most of the actors were trying to deal with the newfangled art of movie dialogue.
Philip Voaze (William Powell) attends a memorial service for soldiers killed in World War One. His name is on the list. That’s fine with him since he changed his name and wants to put his old life behind him. His old girlfriend Deborah Kane (Evelyn Brent) goes to his apartment. She’s still jealous that he married Faith (Doris Kenyon) and broke up their relationship all those years ago. She wants him back.
Thinking he was dead, Faith remarried. She’s with a famous heart doctor, Sir John Marlay (Clive Brook). Deborah drops by to see her. She says she grabbed some steamy letters Faith wrote to Philip. She says her husband knows all about Philip. Deborah says the Royal Society doesn’t and that could cause a big scandal. She wants Faith to start writing her checks.
One morning Faith asks Sir John for five hundred pounds. He says there’s not enough in the bank. Later Philip’s doctor sends him to Sir John to consult about his heart problem. He runs into Faith and stops her from downing a vial of prussic acid. She explains about the letters and the blackmail.
Sir John examines Philip and says his doctor was right, he has an aneurysm. He tells Philip he doesn’t have much time left and he has to stop everything, booze…everything. Then Philip drops it on him who he really is and about the letters.
Faith goes to see Deborah. Then Sir John shows up and Faith hides in another room. Sir John demands the letters or else he’ll put a stop to Deborah’s interference permanently. He has to see a friend on the next floor. He’ll be back later for her answer., He leaves and then Deborah tosses Faith out.
Deborah calls a newspaper and says she wants a reporter to come to her place where she’ll give him a story about Sir John. She gives a page a note to take upstairs. Now Philip shows up. He’s drunk.
As what usually happens in these movies, blackmailing Deborah is murdered. The viewer is shown the killer and the method. There’s also an attempted cover up to make it look like suicide. Inspector Haines of Scotland Yard isn’t fooled. He knows it’s murder but not the murderer.
The pace just creaks along as it’s obvious that most everyone except Powell and Brent are uncomfortable with the new invention of sound. It takes place in London but is an American production.