Pre-code crime drama focusing on a small-town reporter covering the murder of a prominent banker and the chaos of competing journalists who devour the scandalous story.
Bruce Foster (Tom Brown) is a small-town reporter who dreams of landing the big scoop that will gain him entry into the ranks of big-city journos. His dream comes true in nightmare fashion when local resident/world-famous banker George Ferguson (Purnell Pratt) is found murdered, his wife, Marcia (Vivienne Osborne), bound and gagged next to his body. Swiftly selling the story to both respected metropolitan newspapers and tawdry downtown tabloids, Bruce triggers a tidal wave of fast-talking, faster-typing correspondents that crashes upon the sleepy town of Cornwall. While Bruce's gal pal Toni (Adrienne Dore) is quickly and shockingly seduced by scandal jockey Bob Parks (Kenneth Thomson), Bruce receives sage and responsible advice from seasoned newsman Martin Collins (Grant Mitchell). At the center of this conflict between truth seekers and news makers is Maizie Dickson (Joan Blondell), a hard-bitten news hen who still has a heart.A foreword warns against the peril of yellow journalism, and the story illustrates it by following events in the upstate New York town of Cornwall after prominant financier George Ferguson is killed. Two types of New York City journalists descend on Cornwall, one interested in facts, the other in getting sensational "news". Mrs. Ferguson is known to have been friendly with a local banker. The Fergusons quarrel the evening he is killed (by "burglers", his wife tells the police later), and she is arrested, spurred on by the "bad" journalists, who also manage to badger the banker's wife into the hospital. Meanwhile, young Bruce Foster runs the Cornwall Courier, and shows the big city reporters how to dig out real news while they attempt to subvert justice for their own ends.