The third Australian film based on the story of English criminal John Babbacombe Lee, convicted of murder and sentenced to hang before the gallows failed on three occasions, after which his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Previous versions had been directed by Philip Lytton in 1912 and by Arthur W. Sterry in 1921. This version was the final film for director Raymond Longford.
Contemporary reviews describe the plot as follows:
'Following the book written by John Lee, the story is laid in England. An Australian tale could have been directed in a more convincing way; and would certainly have had as much chance of succeeding with English audiences as the present effort. A long time is occupied in leading up to something; but those who are not already familiar with John Lee's story will be at a loss to know what. Then at last comes the murder, out of a clear sky. John Lee is suspected, and finally sentenced to death. With great attention to detail, the producers set forth his last leave-taking from his family; the three attempts the prison authorities make to hang him; and his final emergence, after 20 years of wrongful imprisonment, a broken and a tearful man.'
[Source: 'Film Reviews,' Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 1934, p.3.]