When Colin Warner was wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend Carl King devoted his life to proving his innocence.
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Bud Corliss (Wagner) is an ambitious student who is wooing Dorothy Kingship (Woodward) purely for her father’s mining fortune. When he discovers that Dorothy is pregnant with his child, he realizes she is quite likely to be disinherited by her wealthy family. He assures Dorothy that he’ll take care of her, yet he hesitates when Dorothy insists on marrying. Bud then murders Dorothy and stages it in a way that it appears to be a suicide. He then reaches out to her sister Ellen (Leith) with the hopes of marrying her in order to ingratiate himself with her father. After a couple of months Ellen finds evidence to question the suicide verdict, and then discovers Bud knew Dorothy. Ellen struggles to avenge her sister and save her own life.
Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie Soke teams up with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is chubby and cheery Thurman Merman, a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity. Issues arise when the pair are joined by Willie’s horror story of a mother, who raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior.