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The Big Boss

The Big Boss(1941)

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Although they are brothers, Frank and Bob Dugan are complete opposites: Frank is arrogant and anti-social, while Bob is a good boy, anxious to get ahead in the world. One day, the boys's father, Sheriff Dugan, is killed while trying to capture an escaped convict. Now orphaned, the boys are sent to live in separate homes. Frank runs away from his new home and is never found. Years later, Bob embarks upon a career based on enforcing the law, first working at a legal office and then entering politics. Running on a reform platform, Bob is elected state senator and sets out to crush the corrupt political machine run by "Big Boss" Jim Maloney. Sue Peters, a cynical reporter, observes Bob's rise to power with a jaundiced eye, certain that he will eventually sell out to Maloney. Although Bob's avowed goal is to dismantle the political machine, Maloney decides to support him in his campaign for governor. After winning the election, Bob continues his crusade against Maloney. One day, Maloney has a disagreement with George Fellows, one of his henchmen. In the ensuing fight, Maloney kills Fellows and dumps his body in a ditch. When the corpse is discovered, fingerprints found on the dead man's collar indicate that he was killed by Butch McAllister, a gangster thought to have been slain by authorities. After conducting his own investigation, Bob discovers that Butch disappeared twelve years before and that Maloney's life can only be traced back twelve years. Suspecting that they are one and the same person, Bob confronts Maloney with his hunch. After admitting that Bob has found out the truth, Maloney confesses that he is Bob's long-lost brother Frank. Rather than embarrass his brother, Maloney gives himself up and is sentenced to be executed for murder. Impressed by Bob's integrity, Sue changes her opinion of him, and the two are married.