James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien star in this classic crime drama directed by Raoul Walsh. Cody Jarrett (Cagney) leads his gang to a mountain hideaway after a mail coach robbery on the California border ends with five men dead. With the law closing in, Cody falsely admits to a lesser crime committed at the same time in Illinois and goes there to serve his sentence. Not convinced by his confession, US Treasury investigator Philip Evans (John Archer), sends undercover agent Hank Fallon (O'Brien) to act as Cody's cellmate in the hope of uncovering more information about his crimes. Meanwhile, on the outside, 'Big Ed' Somers (Steve Cochran) is after Cody's gang and his wife Verna (Mayo) and has arranged to have his former leader killed in prison. However, determined not to rot in prison, Cody vows to escape and go after those who have wronged him.