After his airplane is nearly shot down while he is smuggling goods into postwar China, pilot Brad Dunham tells contact man Ramon Perez that he wants more money for his efforts. Brad then returns to his Shanghai hotel, where he discovers that his roommate and friend, Steve Ellis, has hanged himself. In his suicide note, Steve mentions the disgraced flying squadron of which he and Brad were once members and reminds Brad that he is now the “last one.” Depressed and embittered, Brad goes to drink at the hotel’s bar, then learns from the surly Ramon that their “boss” has refused to pay him more money. With the help of rickshaw driver Lui Chen, Brad tracks down the truckload of cargo he smuggled for Ramon and boldly steals it. When Ramon later demands to know where Brad put the “large package,” Brad insists that Ramon take him to “the boss.” Brad is surprised to discover that “the boss” is a beautiful Russian woman named Tamara Baranoff. Brad offers to reveal the cargo’s whereabouts in exchange for a fifty percent cut of the profits and a partnership in Tamara’s black market operation. Attracted to the tough Brad, Tamara agrees to make him a partner and fires Ramon as proof of her commitment. Later, at his hotel, Brad runs into his old friend, reporter Mark Andrews. After Brad invites Mark to room with him, Mark proclaims his faith in Brad, who along with Steve and two other men was court-martialed by the Army three years before. To Brad’s dismay, Mark then reveals that he is working on a story about the Shanghai black market. Later, Brad drops by an orphanage to see Linda Arnold, an attractive social worker he met earlier at the hotel. Unknown to Brad, Tamara, who masquerades as a philanthropic importer, is also at the orphanage and sees him with Linda. Soon after, Brad learns that one of Tamara’s ships was attacked by her rival, Karidian, and its illegal cargo of rice, stolen. Brad confronts Karidian, for whom Ramon is now working, but has no proof of his guilt. At the same time, Mark’s first black market story is published, and Tamara advises Brad to “take care of” his friend. Tamara also warns Brad to stay away from Linda, whose real name, she reveals, is Linda Parker. Later, over dinner, Brad questions Linda about her identity, and she confesses that she is the sister of one of the other men from Brad’s squadron and sought him out in order to prove her brother’s innocence. Brad and Lui Chen then hijack one of Karidian’s trucks and donate some of his rice to the orphanage, while pocketing the rest. Later, Mark, who has been investigating Brad’s court-martial and knows that Tamara was the one who used his plane to smuggle contraband, threatens to expose her unless she clears Brad’s name. Tamara refuses Mark’s deal and contacts Karidian, who informs the idealistic Mark that Brad is deeply involved in the black market. When questioned, Brad freely admits his participation in the racket and, despite Mark’s pleas, refuses to quit. Although a disappointed Mark angrily breaks with Brad, Brad warns Tamara and Karidian not to harm the reporter. Soon after, Mark delivers his most damning story to a Shanghai newspaper, but the manuscript is stolen before it can be published. On his way to the newspaper office with a carbon copy, Mark is knifed by one of Karidian’s men. The fatally wounded Mark asks Brad to deliver the story, and just before dying at the hospital, reveals to him Tamara’s complicity in his court-martial. After instructing Lui Chen to distribute all of Tamara’s black market food to her starving neighbors, Brad, his conscience aroused, stops Tamara before she can flee China with Ramon. The gun-wielding Brad then forces Tamara to write a confession that would absolve him and Linda’s brother of all guilt, but as she is signing it, an armed Ramon takes Brad by surprise. During Brad and Ramon’s ensuing fight, Ramon’s gun goes off, killing Tamara. The police then show up to arrest Ramon, and with his name and conscience finally clear, Brad unites with a loving Linda.—AFI
Edwin L. Marin (February 21, 1899 – May 2, 1951) was an American film director who directed 58 films between 1932 and 1951, working with Anna May Wong, John Wayne, Peter Lorre, George Raft, Bela Lugosi, Judy Garland, Eddie Cantor, and Hoagy Carmichael, among many others.
Marin was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and died in Los Angeles, California. He was married to actress Ann Morriss. —Wikipedia