It can be easier to pass through a needle’s eye than shake gambling in Now I’ll Tell by writer Edwin J. Burker; producer Winfield R. Sheehan; and director Edwin J. Burke. Ernest Palmer; Harold Schuster; and Harry Akst, Lew Brown and Arthur Lange handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California’s Movietone City.
The 72-minute drama adapts Mrs. Arnold Robinson’s (Carolyn Greene) novel about husband Arnold Rothstein (January 17, 1882 – November 6, 1928). Its distributor was Fox Film Corporation. Its USA-premiere and release dates were May 11 and June 8, 1934.
The movie begins with Murray Golden (Spencer Tracy) sending himself a telegram from multi-millionaire Harry Payne Whitney. He brings the wire to the Saratoga racetrack in order to place a $200 bet. He celebrates even though he loses. He marries a racetrack and party attendee, Virginia (Helen Twelvetrees).
By 1914, Murray is a happy husband and successful gambler. On their wedding anniversary, Murray promises Virginia to retire. He reneges after:
By 1919, Murray has his gambling operations. Peggy has Murray’s time, $100,000 in trust funds, and Park Avenue for an address. Virginia has Murray’s love and money.
Virginia attends a championship fight. She does not know that Al and Murray respectively pay Eddie Traylor (Ray Cooke) and George Curtis (Frank Marlowe) to lose. Al loses big and Murray wins big.
Murray denies being involved with Peggy. He describes Peggy as business associate Freddie Stanton’s (Hobart Cavanaugh) mistress. He switches to insurance after Eddie dies.
By 1924, Al decides upon revenge. He gets George drunk enough to reveal Murray’s pay-off. He kidnaps Virginia.
Murray attempts to:
Bribe childhood friend/police detective Tommy Doran (Henry O’Neill);
Charm Tommy’s wife (Alice Calhoun), son Tommy Jr. (Ronnie Cosby), and daughter Mary (Shirley Temple).
Tommy refuses all bribes and toys. Murray runs when Freddie calls about Virginia’s abduction.
Peggy dies when Murray’s cab and a truck collide. Freddie pays for Virginia’s release. Divorce-minded Virginia travels to Paris.
In 1928, Murray loses $50,000 playing cards with Al. He misinterprets as conciliatory Virginia’s telegrammed return. Virginia plans to empty the safe-deposit box and marry husband #2.
Murray agrees to a crap game after pawning Virginia’s jewelry. He loses $200,000. He threatens to identify Al as Eddie’s killer.
The movie ends with Murray:
Getting shot by Al;
Having Freddie bring Virginia to the hospital;
Hearing Virginia’s lie about reconciling;
Perishing with the knowledge that his insurance policy recovers Virginia’s jewelry.