In 1920, Mio’s radical father (he was against child labor and for other worker benefits that are commonplace today) Bartolomeo Romagna was railroaded into a quick conviction by Judge Gaunt, and put to death (all within 2 weeks!), for allegedly killing someone during a payroll robbery. Helen Jerome Eddy appears briefly as Bartolomeo’s distraught wife. The evidence consisted of the positive identification of his automobile as the getaway vehicle, from which the shot had been fired. Trock Estrella had actually been responsible but Garth Esdras, who had been in the car with Trock and his gunman Shadow was never called to testify. This fact was not lost on any of Professor Liggett’s law school students who were studying the case some 14 years later.
In 1934, Mio Romagna returns to New York for the first time since his father had been executed. The facts surrounding the case had been publicized after the law school’s review, so Mio decides to try to find Garth. Of course, Trock wants to find him too, and the Judge is so haunted by the news that he may have sentenced an innocent man to die that he roams the streets, a drunkard. So, a confluence occurs in the small community underneath one of the city’s bridges where Garth lives with his father, known simply by their last name Estras, and sister Miriamne. Mio, who’d met Miriamne on the bridge, during which something (e.g. romantic) passes between them, later dances with her in the community’s small courtyard when a street vendor plays his music box. He’d been chased there by a policeman, who chases him away again, in part because a radical starts to use the gathering to spread his message. —Classicfilguide.com
Alfred Santell was an American film director born September 14, 1895 in San Francisco, California. Santell directed over 60 films, beginning in 1917, and most of them two-reel comedy short subjects for Hal Roach and other productions companies. Taking up feature films from about 1924, Santell worked for several major studios. He left the business in 1946, and died on June 19, 1981 in Salinas, California. —Wikipedia