Adapted from Louis Bromfield's novel, a murdering gangster hides in a boardinghouse and turns it into a nightclub as love triumphs.
Miss Flint (Zasu Pitts) says a man followed her home. Norah Taylor (Jessie Busley) and Maggie Ryan (Una O'Connor) are advised to sell the house. Sarah Jane Ryan (Ann Sheridan) pushes a masher down the front stairs and tells her ma Maggie she is a good girl, asking for $20. Norah makes up a story that her son Tommy will bring money. Piano player Tommy Taylor (Jeffrey Lynn) tells Chips Maguire (Humphrey Bogart) he is quitting and gives back the gun. As cops break in, Maguire burns records, shoots the informer, and escapes with Tommy. Maguire used Tommy's gun and insists on going to the boardinghouse of Tommy's mother.
Maguire as Grasselli stays in his room. After five years Sarah criticizes Tommy for not writing. Norah sees Grasselli's guns. Sarah asks Tommy about Grasselli. Tommy plays piano, and Sarah sings his song "Angel in Disguise." Sarah waits in the bathroom and identifies Maguire. She talks to Tommy and gets Maguire to come down for dinner. Salmon (Grant Mitchell) reads his poetry, and Boldini (Felix Bressart) performs magic with his dog. Sarah sings "Gaucho Serenade." She hopes Maguire will help her, and Tommy gets jealous. Grasselli wins at cards. Sarah learns that $1189 in taxes must be paid. In his room she accuses Maguire of cheating with cards, telling him of the money needed. Maguire offers to pay and suggests opening a nightclub. Tommy tells Maguire to get out, but Maguire tells him he paid for his mother. Grasselli brings a headwaiter, and Maggie asks her priest for permission. Doc (John Litel) warns Maguire. Miss Flint sees Maguire's photo in a magazine and tells him.
The nightclub opens. Grasselli makes Boldini go on stage and threatens tipsy Miss Flint, who goes to police to be locked up, mentioning that Grasselli looks like Maguire. Two police detectives come to arrest Maguire. On the roof Tommy tells Sarah that Maguire used his gun. Tommy tells Sarah he wants to live with her, and he says he won't run away. In the show Sarah sings "Angel in Disguise" and an Irish medley. Norah tells Grasselli that he made her story come true and thanks him. Maguire takes the police to Tommy. Sarah says she is marrying Tommy. Maguire says he is taking the rap and says good-bye.
Wisely Maguire realizes he will do so many years for
racketeering there is no point in accusing Tommy. Thus the gangster
motif is transformed into a romantic comedy with a variety show.