A conniving boxing manager gets a thieving actress to play the lost mother of his rustic fighter.
Boxer Curley Bender (Max Rosenbloom) wins; but his manager Billy Murphy (Pat O'Brien) sold four people 50% of him each and bet against him. On the train Doris Harvey (Joan Blondell) complains that Murphy won't marry her. At Kokomo Murphy discovers Homer Baston (Wayne Morris), who is content on his farm; but Doris and Murphy say they will find his mother. Homer wins a fight, and Murphy has Eddie Black (Edward Brophy) take care of him. To keep Homer from leaving, Murphy says he found his mother. At night court Murphy pays Eddie's fine for fighting and persuades Judge Bronson (Sidney Toler) that he will take custody of thieving actress Maggie Manell (May Robson). Murphy presents Maggie to Homer as his mother. Homer wants to quit to take care of her, but they change his mind. Maggie tells Homer that she has had a hard life.
In the gym Homer meets Marian Bronson (Jane Wyman). Homer spars with Curley and learns his weakness. Homer wins fights and rents a penthouse. Maggie threatens to replace Murphy, who tells Homer that she is not his mother. Homer turn his money over to Maggie to teach her responsibility. Murphy and Doris call on Maggie's friend Muscles Malone (Stanley Fields) and pay him to expose Maggie; but Maggie tells Homer that Muscles is his father. Homer runs with Marian; they sit down, and she kisses him, proposing marriage. Homer invites Murphy and Doris to a dinner with Marian's parents; but Judge Bronson recognizes Maggie, and Doris remembers him from her bubble dancing. Muscles recalls his childhood with Gashouse Bronson.
Louie (Morgan Conway) tells Murphy that Maggie lost money on horses and gave him a bad check. Louie tells Homer to lose, and Homer gets the check. Maggie bet on Homer and tells him she is not his mother and won't mind going to jail. Homer tells Murphy that she is sacrificing for him, and he will take a dive. In the fight Curley criticizes Maggie, making Homer so angry that he knocks out Curley. Muscles and Maggie plan to leave with the money; but Doris tells them that Louie kidnapped Homer and Murphy. Muscles breaks in, and his men fight Louie's gang as Maggie and Doris untie Homer and Murphy. Homer has $200,000 and tells Maggie and Muscles he will adopt them if they are married. They are wed along with Homer and Marian by Judge Bronson; but Murphy resists wedlock and is chased by Doris.
This comedy plays on the ironic contrast between the
city slickers and the simple values of the gullible country kid.
With movies like this reaching the small towns such disparities
would soon diminish.