Helen Twelvetrees is excellent as a B girl in a Havana waterfront dive. The makings of a good movie are here but a decision was made to bring in James Gleason and Slim Summerville as drunken sailors for comedy relief.
Annie keeps trying to get into the U.S. but always gets sent back. She’s a drunk and hangs out at the Thalia in Havana. She looks out for Frankie (Helen Twelvetrees). Also looking out for her for other reasons is Johnny (Ricardo Cortez). He sits by the piano and keeps an eye on things. He also plays the song “Frankie And Johnny.”
Johnny’s rival Red comes in and tries to convince Frankie to come to work for him. Johnny instructs two members of his gang to start a fight as a distraction. While the customers are watching the combatants Johnny tosses a knife in Red’s back, Since no one sees him he gets away with it.
The next night three sailors drop in. Dan Keefe (Phillips Holmes) likes to sing and his pals Steve (James Gleason) and The Swede (Slim Summerville) have a running gag involving a slot machine. It’s really annoying. Franklin Pangborn has a quick bit as a customer. That doesn’t work either.
Frankie puts the hustle on Dan and ends up attracted to him. Johnny is watching and signals the bartender to fix up a Mickey Finn for Dan. Frankie knocks Dan’s arm before he can drink it. They go out together and it ends up with the two agreeing to go to the States. At the Thalia Dan tells his pals he’s not going to be sailing with them. The three leave for the ship and Frankie misunderstands. That gets straightened out but Frankie doesn’t know it but Johnny has other plans.
Too bad the movie falls apart thanks to the misplaced attempts at comedy. Still it’s worth seeing because of Twelvetrees performance.