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When Helen King accepts Steve Carlyle's marriage proposal, she is unaware that he is a lawyer for a ring of gangsters headed by the despotic, eccentric Goldie Gorio. Although he tries to break free of his underworld connections, Steve is forced with violent threats to continue, and then learns that Helen's wealthy brother Mark is the head of a rival gang. In hopes of impressing the beautiful Helen, who knows nothing of Mark's illegal activites, Gorio first bankrolls a lavish wedding, then buys the newlyweds a luxurious Manhattan apartment and other extravagances. In time, Helen grows suspicious of Steve's business associates and dealings, but Steve, wanting to protect her, denies any wrongdoing. Gorio, meanwhile, aware that McBaine, a United States Marshal, is watching his illegal fleet of boats and is waiting for a chance to kill him, sets up Steve by sending him to the docks. During the police raid, Steve is seriously wounded, and Helen, finally understanding that she is a gangster's sister and wife, vows to save her husband from Gorio's lethal web. Gorio senses that his territory is being threatened by his rival and cold-bloodedly executes Mark and his gang. He then flirts openly with Helen, who feigns interest and agrees to meet him at his apartment. At the same time, Steve drags himself from his hospital bed and heads for Gorio's hideout, also armed. After a fierce machine gun battle between Gorio's gang and the police, Helen kills Gorio in Steve's presence, at last liberating her husband from his criminal past.