Robert Taylor stars in director Nicholas Ray's Party Girl as the traditional Ray anti-hero: a criminal lawyer who's a little bit of both. Fronting for Chicago gang boss Lee J. Cobb during the late 1920s, Taylor manages to get Cobb-underling John Ireland off on a murder rap.
Cobb throws a party to celebrate the event at his penthouse, where showgirl Cyd Charisse performs a sexy dance. Ireland has the hots for Charisse, but she's more interested in Taylor. Thanks to her good influence, Taylor decides to quit the rackets.
But after agreeing to take one more case for Cobb, Taylor is wounded in a shoot-out and hauled before prosecutor Kent Smith. Smith orders Taylor to testify against Cobb; the lawyer agrees to do so provided that Charisse is given police protection.
Unfortunately, Cobb gets to Charisse first and threatens to throw acid in her lovely face while Taylor watches helplessly.