The Knife was adapted from the same-named stage play by Eugene Walter. Alice Brady headed the cast as Southern belle Kate Tarleton, who comes to New York in search of her destiny. Unwise in the ways of the Wicked City, Kate is soon picked up by a no-good who plies her with drugs and then seduces her. Her hometown sweetheart is all for killing the man who "done her wrong" but is dissuaded by surgeon Robert Manning (Frank Morgan), who believes he can "cure" the caddish seducer via a radical form of brain surgery. Adding texture to the tale is the fact that Dr. Manning is the brother of his experimental patient. According to the trade magazine Variety, the harsher elements of the original stage play were toned down to accommodate the recently strengthened censorship limitations of the period.
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