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Slightly Honorable

Slightly Honorable(1939)

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Attorney John Webb is fighting the corruption of a political ring led by Vincent Cushing, a newspaper publisher who has become very wealthy through graft. Webb's only ally is his law partner, Russ Sampson. While at the state capitol to enlist the aid of Senator Scott, the two meet Alma Brehmer, Cushing's mistress and a law client of Webb's. Alma invites them to a party that Cushing is giving at Pete Godeana's nightclub that night, and Webb accepts. At the club, Webb is impressed by dancer Ann Seymour's performance in the floor show until he learns that she is only eighteen. Minutes later, he hears Ann scream and sees Godeana slapping the girl. Webb punches Godeana and takes Ann from the club. The next morning, Webb goes to his office where, while he is talking on the telephone, a knife whizzes past his ear. That night, he goes to Alma's apartment to appraise some jewelry for her. When he arrives, he finds Alma dead, stabbed in the back. Police Captain Graves and Inspector Fromm arrest Webb for Alma's death, but because they only have circumstantial evidence, they are forced to release him. Meanwhile, at the Cushing home, Mrs. Cushing finds a newspaper clipping that convinces her that her husband killed Alma. When her husband and daughter Sarilla enter the room, Mrs. Cushing slips the clipping into Sarilla's coat to conceal it. Sensing the tension between her parents, Sarilla decides to find evidence that will incriminate Webb, and she searches his apartment that night. At Webb's apartment, the clipping falls out of Sarilla's coat pocket. The following day, Webb enters his office and finds his secretary, Miss Ater, stabbed in the back. He is again arrested for murder, but released on a writ obtained by Sampson. Webb then finds the clipping in his apartment and follows it to a cemetary in a small Texas town. There, he learns that Sampson committed the murders in order to hide the fact that he had slain a main in Texas.