Former newspaperman Martin Mooney based his script for Exclusive Story on the racket-busting activities of New York district attorney Thomas E. Dewey. Franchot Tone plays the lawyer for a major newspaper which is conducting a campaign against gang boss Joseph Calleia. The paper can't get any charges to stick, thanks to Calleia's clever legal maneuvers. Tone takes matters in his own hands and nails down the evidence to convict Calleia. The gangster retaliates by kidnapping Tone's girlfriend (Madge Evans), leading to a climactic burst of violence.