Drama / Sports (1934) 68 minutes ~ Black & White
Impressed with the play of Jim Warren, an all-American halfback for the University of St. Louis, big-time gambler Harry Crandall offers to sign the athlete to a contract with his professional football team, the St. Louis Bears. He invites Jim and his girl friend, Eleanor Farnham, to join him at the Plantation Cafe. Although Harry knows that the university forbids students from visiting the club, Jim accepts Crandall’s invitation and is instantly mesmerized by the singing of St. Louis Lou, the nightclub’s owner. Anxious to please his prospect, Crandall encourages Lou to flirt with Jim, who then brawls with one of Crandall’s henchmen over her. During the fight, Jim slugs a university professor, who has come to the club to hunt for students. After Jim is expelled by Dean McClure, he returns to his home town, where his physician father tries to enroll him in another school. Unsuccessful, Jim goes to Crandall to accept his contract offer, but is told by the gambler that he is no longer “suitable material.” A long job hunt lands Jim in a breadline, where he is befriended by Lou, the charity’s backer. Jim informs Lou that Crandall’s gaming operation is being investigated by detectives, and out of gratitude for this tip, Crandall agrees to sign Jim to the Bears. During his first game, however, Crandall, who is jealous of Lou’s growing interest in the athlete, orders his other players to make Jim look bad on the field. As she watches the game, Lou deduces Crandall’s scheme and threatens to expose the players if they continue their frame-up. The players back off, and Jim leads the Bears to repeated victories. Now a football hero, Jim proposes to Lou and invites her to meet his parents at the club. After his parents tell Lou privately that they want Jim to return to his medical career, Crandall has Madame Le Moine expose Lou as a former prostitute, which drives the conservative couple out of the club. Shamed, Lou determines to have Jim re-instated in school and offers to shut down the club if Dean McClure allows him to return. Although McClure agrees, Jim insists on honoring his contract with Crandall and refuses to leave the team. Lou tries to destroy the contract, but is caught in the act by Crandall and accidentally shoots him in an ensuing struggle. While Jim reunites with Eleanor, Lou learns that Crandall, who has told the police that his gunshot wound was self-inflicted, is calling for her. Satisfied that Jim’s life is back on track, Lou closes the club and goes to Crandall’s side.
Director: Albert Ray
Writers: Elwood Ullman (story), Jack Natteford (screenplay)
Stars: Jeanette Loff, Johnny Mack Brown, Earle Foxe