In a brilliant stroke of casting against type, Robert Young plays cad and accused murderer, Larry Ballyntyne. While not the best looking guy in the world, Larry has a certain charm that “the ladies” love. Lots of them. And he took advantage. That was his crime. For all the good it will do, he begins to tell his sordid tale in the hope that one person on the jury will believe him.
Larry’s marriage to socialite Gretta has gotten stale so he’s taken up with her friend, Janice (Jane Greer). Unfortunately, it’s a supporting part for Greer. It’s hard to not think of femme fatale Kathie Moffat from Out of the Past (1947) but Janice is a very different character. She’s sensible and seemingly good-hearted but can’t resist Larry
Meanwhile, Gretta gets wind of the relationship and puts her well-heeled foot down. In this case, money talks. Gretta appears to have won. Exit Janice (She does reappear later).
Larry tries to behave himself. Then, enter Verna (Susan Hayward), a secretary at his agency. Another affair, another ultimatum.
This time Gretta is taking no chances. She and Larry take up residence in an out-of-the-way cabin where their only contact with the outside world is via the general store (Gretta thought ahead and had the phone lines at the cabin ripped out). He’s a virtual prisoner until he finds a way to visit Los Angeles and Verna. Things are looking up until people start dying. What began as a soap opera turns into a true noir.