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In the First Degree

In the First Degree(1927)

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John Pendleton, secretary to wealthy stock speculator James Hurd, is in love with Barbara, Hurd's daughter, who is also admired by Philip Stanwood, a rich associate of her father. Stanwood is repelled and enlists Hurd's aid in winning the girl; he refuses until, faced with ruin, he has to accept Stanwood's financial aid. On the evening of Barbara's engagement to Stanwood, John is sent to get a necklace from Hurd, taking a gun for protection. Gladys, a former mistress of Stanwood's, interrupts with accusations and accidentally kills Hurd. John, however, is found over the body and is convicted of murder on circumstantial evidence. His brother, Jerry, follows Stanwood while John is being prepared for execution. In an automobile chase, Stanwood is killed, and Gladys, before dying, confesses the truth. Jerry manages to stay the execution, and Barbara and John find happiness together.