Irish immigrant and ventriloquist Jonathan West sells everything he can at a pawn store but refuses to part with his ventriloquist dummy, Little Caesar. Jonathan goes back to his apartment and Caesar starts talking to him, telling him that he’s a failure. The landlady’s niece Susan comes by and starts mocking Jonathan, daring Jonathan to make his dummy talk. He finally gives in and demonstrates, but Susan insists he won’t get a job. After she leaves, Caesar tells Jonathan to make sure that she never comes in again.
Jonathan performs at the club for Mr. Miller, but it doesn’t go well. When he goes back to his apartment, the landlady wants the rent. When Jonathan can’t pay, the landlady Mrs. Cudahy directs him to an employment service but Jonathan has no other skills and isn’t a citizen yet, and is sent away.
Back at his apartment, Susan continues to taunt him and Jonathan goes to his apartment. He insists he just needs some money so he’ll have time to think and come up with a solution. Caesar tells him that from now on, he’s calling the shots. He directs Jonathan out onto the streets that night and they break into a delicatessen and rob it after hours. The next day, Jonathan pays his rent and goes back to his apartment, and Caesar tells him it’s time to get into the big leagues. As they talk, Susan listens at the door. Later, Jonathan goes out and Susan sneaks in and tries to get Caesar to talk to her. The dummy ignores her and Jonathan returns to find her slipping out of his room. He tells her never to go in there again and then goes into his room. Caesar tells him that he only needs to do one big job and then they’re both set.
That night, Jonathan takes Caesar to the club. With the dummy’s help, Jonathan breaks into Miller’s safe and steals his payroll. As he leaves, the night watchman sees him but Jonathan gives him Caesar’s cover story that he was there to meet with Miller. Caesar makes a few comments to convince the watchman that Jonathan is a ventriloquist, and the watchman remembers Jonathan from his audition earlier. He tells Jonathan that Miller left 45 minutes earlier and escorts him out.
The next day, Mrs. Cudahy reads an article on the robbery. Susan, putting two and two together, calls the police. They arrive and ask for a word with Jonathan. He’s eager to talk but soon realizes that they know he was at the club the previous night. Jonathan asks Caesar to explain everything but the dummy refuses to talk. The police take Jonathan away and Caesar calls Susan over. He figures that she’s ready for big things and together they can go places. Caesar tells her where the money from the robbery is hidden and informs the girl that before they leave, she’ll have to dispose of her aunt… Share this article with your friends