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James Allen comes home from World War I to find a struggling economy. He has a hard time frinding the various jobs he had before the war. He accidentally becomes involved with a robbery and is sentenced to a Southern chain gain. Allen escapes and heads up to CHicago. He becomes a successful in the construction business, but his properitor, Marie Woods, learns of his secrets, she blackmails him into an unhappy marriage. Allen falls in love with Helen. In return for Allens' proposal to a divorce, Marie turns him in to the authorities.Allen is once again sent to a chain gang. There he escapes again. The hardened Allen avoids several manhunts and makes his way up North where he becomes a tax consultant. The film portrays the harsh conditions of the Southern Chain gangs. Three weeks after the films' release, Gerogian authoraties learn of his wherebouts and arrest him as a fugutive. The then New Jersey govenor refused to extradict him. The film was successful in prion reform. By 1937 Georgia outlawed its chain gangs. Burns returns to Goeogia in 1945 to have his sentence revokes and civil liberties restored. The film itsef was banned in Georgia. (various locations)

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