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Hold the Press

Hold the Press(1933)

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Ace newspaper reporter Tim Collins is with the police chief when news arrives that gangster Mike Sereno has been shot. Dashing to the scene, Tim learns that Sereno is not seriously wounded, and that both Sereno and Edith White, a woman found in his apartment, refuse to discuss the shooting with police. Tim suspects that Sereno's assailant is still in the building, and while he is investigating, the culprit knocks him out, steals his press pass and escapes. Tim is subsequently blamed for the escape of the would-be murderer and is fired. Determined to clear his name, Tim decides to investigate Sereno's alleged link to a parole racket. Although he does not drink, Tim is well known in the local speakeasies and easily arranges with a judge to arrest him on a false charge of drunk driving. Tim is sentenced to a month in prison, where he learns that paroles have been very easy to obtain lately. Upon his release, Tim follows three recently paroled men, including Edith's brother Frankie. Tim becomes friendly with Edith and learns that Frankie's parole was procured by Abbott, a politician to whom Frankie has been paying fifty dollars a week for securing his release. Frankie had also been threatened by Sereno with being returned to jail if he did not maintain his payments; so, in desperation, Frankie attempted to kill Sereno. Edith confesses that she was trying to dissuade the gangster from turning Frankie in when Tim and the police arrived. After listening to Edith's story, Tim confronts Abbott, who reveals nothing. Abbott later alerts Sereno, who tries unsuccessfully to have Tim killed. Tim then informs Frankie that Sereno has an operative on the parole board who tells him when prisoners are to released. Sereno then contacts the men and, intimating that their releases are due to him, arranges for payoffs, which he splits with his cohorts. Frankie readily signs an affidavit stating that he has been paying Abbott, but the document is stolen and an attempt is made on Frankie's life to prevent him from signing another. Tim rescues Frankie, then trails Sereno with the help of the motorcycle police, and captures the gang. The resulting expose of the parole racket is a sensation, and Tim is restored to his job. All ends well as Tim not only gets his job back, with a raise, but gets Edith's promise to marry him as well.