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The Secret Call

The Secret Call(1931)

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City Commissioner Frank Kelly commits suicide after political boss Jim Blake frames him in Blake's own grafting racket. Kelly's daughter Wanda, who is in love with Blake's son Tom, vows revenge against Blake when he insists innocent men do not commit suicide. A year later, Wanda is head telephone operator at the Hotel Keswick, where Blake conducts business. Meanwhile, The Bulletin has been printing stories implicating Blake in Kelly's demise. In order to divert attention from himself, Blake creates a scandal involving Senator Matt Stanton, who is spearheading the investigation of him. At the hotel, Blake blackmails Stanton into dropping his reform bill by threatening to expose Stanton's past love affair in the next morning's newspaper. Meanwhile, Bulletin reporter Bert Benedict offers to pay Wanda to listen in on Blake's calls. Unaware of the name of Stanton's former liaison, Blake sends henchman Jim Neligan to pay the hotel operator for the phone number of Stanton's next call, assuming he will be calling the woman to warn her. When Tom's brother-in-law, Senator Phil Roberts, who is in league with Blake, calls the same number, Wanda realizes Blake's own daughter Grace is the woman, and refuses to report to either Benedict or Neligan. Blake, meanwhile, pays Stanton's ex-secretary, Vera Lorraine, to give him the name, and she promises to deliver it the next morning. That night, Tom and Wanda spend a romantic evening together after a year's separation, and she tells him his father has come between them. The next morning, Grace arrives at the hotel and Wanda warns her to stop her father's involvement in the Stanton scandal. When Vera telephones, Wanda intercepts the call. As the press waits, Grace runs to Tom for help and Wanda is ordered to report to Blake. When Blake realizes Kelly's daughter is the woman he tried to bribe, he threatens to put her in prison for intercepting Vera's call. Wanda resists naming Grace until Blake cruelly reminds Wanda of her father's fate. As Tom and Grace arrive, Wanda blurts out Grace's phone number and Blake, mortified, says he is through with politics. Wanda then gives Benedict a tip that she will marry Tom.