Basically a silent film, Pathe's Captain Swagger was released with a synchronized music and sound-effects track, courtesy of RCA Photophone. Rod La Rocque stars as American aviator Hugh Drummong, whose fearlessness during WWI earns him the nickname of Captain Swagger. Signing up with a French flying regiment, our hero takes on the challenge of shooting down dreaded German air ace Von Stahl (Ulrich Haupt). He brings the German down in enemy territory but rescues Von Stahl before his ruined plane explodes. In gratitude, Von Stahl helps Drummong elude capture and return to his regiment. Ten years pass, whereupon we pick up the story in New York. Unable to hold down a job or any other sort of responsibility, Drummong is forced to become a common thief. As luck would have it, his first "victim" is Sue (Sue Carol), likewise living on the fringes of society, who immediately falls in love with the would-be bandit. The couple reforms and finds work as a nightclub dance team. One night, the club where Drummong and Sue are employed is held up by a slick criminal gang, headed by none other than Drummong's "friendly enemy" Von Stahl. Returning the wartime favor, Drummong sets about to convince Von Stahl to change his ways and return his ill-gotten gains.