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October 04, 2011
Bank president Thomas Dickson (Walter Huston) has instituted a lending policy that shows great faith in ordinary people but which also irritates his board of directors, as does his claim that an increased money supply will help end the Depression. Elsewhere in the bank, criminal Dude Finlay (Robert Ellis) has coerced head cashier Cluett (Gavin Gordon) into cooperating with a robbery by threatening to reveal Cluett as a habitual gambler. Dickson's neglected wife Phyllis (Kay Johnson), upset that Thomas has forgotten their anniversary, agrees to go out with Cluett, but they're spotted by head teller Matt Brown (Pat O'Brien). Matt goes to Cluett's apartment and convinces Phyllis to leave with him just as the robbery takes place back at the bank. Because he was responsible for locking the vault, Matt is assumed to be in league with the robbers, and he's arrested. News of the robbery leads to frantic depositors demanding their money back from the bank; Dickson cannot talk them out of it, and the bank is running out of money. This gives the board of directors the leverage over Dickson that they've been seeking, and they try to force his resignation.