This is a 1936 American film directed by Archie Mayo, adapted from Robert E. Sherwood's stage play of the same name.
Alan Squier---once a respected British writer, now a disillusioned, penniless drifter---wanders into a roadside diner in the remote town of Black Mesa, Arizona.
The diner is run by Jason Maple, his daughter Gabrielle, and Jason's father.
Gabrielle's mother, a French war bride who fell in love with Jason when he was a young, handsome American serviceman, left her dull defeated husband and moved back to France when Gabrielle was a baby.
She now sends poetry to Gabrielle, who dreams of moving to Bourges, where her parents first met, to become an artist.
Alan wrote one novel, and then lived in France for eight years with a wife he stole from his publisher.
Gabrielle is instantly smitten with him.
Boze Hertzlinger, a former football player who works at the diner and has wooed Gabrielle in vain, grows jealous of Alan, who decides to leave forthwith.
He mooches a ride from wealthy tourists Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm.
After only a few minutes on the road, however, they encounter Duke Mantee, a notorious gangster fleeing a massive police pursuit.
Duke and his gang seize the Chisholms' car and drive to the diner, where Duke has arranged to rendezvous with his girlfriend, Doris.
Alan, the Chisholms, and their chauffeur soon make their way back to the diner as well.
Indifferent to the hostage situation, Alan engages Duke in lively conversation and toasts him as the last great apostle of rugged individualism.
Duke learns that Doris has been captured, and has revealed their intended rendezvous location.
As police converge on the diner, Duke prepares to flee, announcing that he will take Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm with him.
Inspired by Boze's act of courage, Alan has an inspiration.
While Gabrielle is in the back room bandaging Boze's hand, he produces a life insurance policy from his bag and amends it, making Gabrielle the beneficiary.
Then he asks Duke to kill him so that Gabrielle can use the insurance money to realize her dream of moving to France.
Duke obliges, then leaves with his human shields.
Alan dies in Gabrielle's arms.
Alan's inspiration seems to me an absolutely foolish act.
So does the whole movie.