Fun mix of comedy and crime made watchable because Zasu Pitts doesn’t play it as a stereotypical silly old lady or a know it all. She gets involved with gangsters and the fight game in the big city.
Emma Bates, known to one and all as Aunt Emma, used to be the fiancee of a prize fighter. Her family broke that up. Now the man’s son, Mickey O’Banion is a fighter. Unlike his father he nightclubs instead of trains. Emma wants to turn him around and goes to the city.
At a newspaper reporter Terry is about to marry his girlfriend Maris. His editor (Dick Elliot) assigns him to interview a mob lawyer named Crenshaw who is slated to spill to the grand jury. His marriage will have to wait. Terry gets nowhere. Right after he leaves, Crenshaw is kidnapped. Terry’s editor is not amused by being scooped by a rival paper. Terry is sent back to covering sports.
He goes to the O’Banion fight and gives his spare ticket to Aunt Emma. During the fight Mickey is phoning it in. Emma rides him and he wins the bout. She doesn’t know it was fixed. Aunt Emma sees him in the dressing room and offers to take him out to the country for proper training.
Mickey’s manager Gus Hammond (Douglas Fowley) is behind the kidnapping. His boys Duke and Joe (Warren Hymer) see Aunt Emma and think she’s the notorious Ma Parker who carries a gun in her umbrella and is a crack shot. Nightclub owner and gangster Flower Henderson (Tristram Coffin) sends his boys to get Duke and Joe. They bump them off in a dressing room. Aunt Emma is blamed.
It goes into a plot where Flower pays off Mickey to take a dive but Terry gets in the way. Aunt Emma gets into the role of Ma Parker with Flower. His moll Zelda tries to tell him who she really is but he doesn’t listen. She calls Gus and tips him off that a double cross is in the works. Gus ends up shooting Mickey but gets released claiming self defense. Mickey is kidnapped from the hospital. It all leads to a shootout at a remote cabin.
There aren’t any laugh out loud moments but Pitts is very enjoyable in a story removed from reality but it really doesn’t matter.