Sworn Enemy(1936). Director: Edwin L. Marin. Cast: Robert Young, Florence Rice, Joseph Calleia and Lewis Stone.
Just out of Law school, Hank Sherman's, begins his first night working at the Decker produce company, when thugs come by and insist that he pay protection money, which turns out to be more than he makes.. Owner Eli Decker, drives by just in time to prevent Hank from getting a beating.Decker, wants to get rid of the thugs once and for all and gives Hank, a job as his chauffeur.
Decker's secretary Peggy Gattle,later asks him to drive her to Sing Sing to meet her father Dr. Simon Gattle, who was wrongly imprisoned twelve years ago and has been finding out all he can on Joe Emerald, the gangster who framed him. They meet with Paul Scott from the district attorney's office and put together a plan to get Emerald. Gattle says that Emerald, only deals in cash and that finding his safe, might have what they need to have him arrested on income tax evasion.
Outside, Dutch McTurck, an old friend of Hank's warns him to leave Decker, but instead Hank goes to Decker and says that he wants to be part of the investigation.
Hank's brother Steve, who is a fight promoter, asks to join Decker in his car to discuss a possible fight at Madison Square Garden for boxer "Steamer" Krupp. Hank is driving the car, when it is hit by a steam shovel that kills both Decker and Steve.
At Steve's funeral, Hank is looking for revenge and accepts Dutch's offer to work for him, but, Hank is really working undercover for the district attorney.
On Hank's first "raid" with Dutch, they put castor oil in milk cans owned by a company that will not pay for "protection." When the police arrive, Hank is wounded and hides in a boxcar with Dutch, then kills Dutch when he sees him about to kill a policeman. The other gang members blame him for Dutch's death and want him to leave, so he comes up with another plan to get close to Emerald. Which is.. to convince Steamer, to keep boxing to catch Emerald's attention, who is a sports promoter.
Soon, Steamer wins so many fights that Emerald, who only walks with the aid of two canes, offers to buy his contract for $10,000. When,Steamer cannot fight without Hank, Emerald hires him as Steamer's manager, but everyone still believes that Emerald is the real manager.
Hank, then tells Emerald that his girl friend Peg, wants to be an actress and that she also needs a job. Later, Peg pretends to pass out from drinking in Emerald's penthouse, then sets fire to the apartment. Emerald rushes to his steam room, then collapses. Steamer then carries him to safety and later tells Hank, who knows that the safe is hidden in the steam room. Police detective Simmons, then goes to Emerald's apartment during Steamer's fight to look through the safe.
As luck would have it, a huge storm causes the fight's cancellation and Emerald arrives back home, just as Hank, Peg, Gattle and Simmons are in the steam room. Emerald then locks them in and turns on the steam. Will Steamer arrive in time to let them out?
A dark movie that, had it been made a few years later, would have been a film noir. Wonderful acting by Robert Young, Louis Stone, Samuel Hinds, Joseph Calleia and Florence Rice. Although, the movie is a typical 1930's MGM type of film overcoming odds to catch the bad guys. It filled with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Became an actress during the early 1930s and after several Broadway roles, eventually made her way to Hollywood where she acted in almost fifty films between 1934 and 1943. Blonde, pretty, and wholesome, Rice was cast as the reliable girlfriend in several MGM films, and during the 1930s, MGM gradually provided her with more substantial roles, occasionally in prestige productions. Rice never became a major figure in films, but achieved popularity in a number of screen pairings with Robert Young. Her most widely seen performances were in Double Wedding (1937), in which she was billed third in the cast credits behind William Powell and Myrna Loy, Sweethearts (1938) with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, and The Marx Brothers film At The Circus (1939). During the 1940s the quality of her roles steadily decreased and in 1947 she retired.