The survivors from a plane crash are washed up on an island where the only inhabitants are Mr. Taylor and his servant, Ping. The mismatched group must learn to get along and work together if they are to convince Taylor to let them borrow his boat and return to the main land.
As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed “John Doe,” who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate “Doe.” Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it’s worth, until the made-up “John Doe” philosophy starts a whole political movement.
Hildy, the journalist former wife of newspaper editor Walter Burns, visits his office to inform him that she’s engaged and will be getting remarried the next day. Walter can’t let that happen and frames the fiancé, Bruce Baldwin, for one thing after another, to keep him temporarily held in prison, while trying to steer Hildy into returning to her old job as his employee.
An illiterate stooge in a traveling medicine show wanders into a strange town and is picked up on a vagrancy charge. The town’s corrupt officials mistake him for the inspector general whom they think is traveling in disguise. Fearing he will discover they’ve been pocketing tax money, they make several bungled attempts to kill him.
Pepe Le Moko is a notorious thief, who escaped from France. Since his escape, Moko became a resident and leader of the immense Casbah of Algiers. French officials arrive insisting on Pepe’s capture are met with unfazed local detectives, led by Inspector Slimane, who are biding their time. Meanwhile, Pepe meets the beautiful Gaby , which arouses the jealousy of Ines