Preston S. Foster is the "hero" of The People's Enemy only in the sense that his is the largest male role. Foster plays a detestable gangster who works his way up to millionaire status. To gain a veneer of respectability, he marries lovely Lila Lee. But when the going gets rough, he deserts both his wife and his young daughter (Sybil Elaine). Upon Foster's arrest, noble and upright Melvyn Douglas is on hand to comfort Lee and her child. The People's Enemy was independently financed by Select Productions and released through RKO Radio Pictures.