Academy Award winner Bette Davis stars as the bride of a pharmacist counterfeiting drugs who almost dies when she unknowingly receives an injection of one of his phony prescriptions in The Big Shakedown. Druggist Jimmy Morell's (Charles Farrell) business is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy when racketeer Dutch Barnes (Ricardo Cortez) offers a proposal for Morell to concoct and sell copies of brand name drugs. But when Morell's pregnant bride, Norma (Davis), loses their baby and almost dies after receiving one of his ineffective drugs, Morell becomes almost insane with rage. He wants out of the deal--and he wants Barnes dead. He's too late, though, to kill Barnes: By the time Morell finds him, Barnes is already dead. Still, Barnes gets a measure of revenge as well as rid of the evidence against him by rolling Morell's body into a vat of chemicals that completely dissolve the cadaver.