Entertaining film and first of the gangster pictures to deal with the snatch racket, kidnapping.
While in prison, for having evaded income tax, Spencer Tracy turns reformer. His principal purpose for the change is revenge. His indirect purpose is to help the authorities clean up the snatchers. Picture intends to project that the old liquor mobs are the present kidnappers. It amounts to a gangster, turned stool pigeon, winding up as the hero.
Film would be better if it didn’t take so long to reach the plot. That’s where Tracy, in prison, convinces the warden he can serve society and the government better as a detective than as a prisoner behind the bars. Perhaps far fetched, but the picture unrolls fast from that point.
Story soon indicates that the friendship between Tracy and a newspaper girl (Claire Trevor) may be more than just a formal acquaintanceship. Trevor impels an exciting interest. About the best portrayal of a newspaper gal which the studios have submitted. Hers is a fine performance, and Tracy gives his usual portrayal, okay throughout.