The San Francisco-based millionaire industrialist Walter Williams (Brian Donlevy) has a young wife, Irene (Helen Walker), who is trying to kill him with the help of her young lover, Jim Torrence (Tony Barrett). After Walter and Irene make plans to drive to Lake Tahoe, Irene feigns illness and asks Walter to instead give Torrence, who is pretending to be Irene’s “cousin” from Illinois, a lift to Denver, allowing Torrence a chance to murder Walter en route.
The plan falls apart when Williams survives a hit on the head from the would-be killer. Attempting to flee the scene in Williams’ Packard convertible, Torrence dies in a fiery head-on collision with a gasoline tanker truck. The body of Torrence is mistakenly identified as Williams. In the meantime, Irene has made reservations at a hotel in Oakland for her and her boyfriend to meet afterwards, under the assumed names of “Mr. & Mrs. Jack Burns”.
The wounded, dazed Williams passes out in the back of a moving van and ends up in the small town of Larkspur, Idaho. Using the name “Bill Walker”, he gets a job as a service station mechanic and falls in love with Marsha Peters (Ella Raines), a young widow who is the station’s owner, whose husband was killed in the Battle of Okinawa. Meanwhile, the police arrest Williams’ wife for his “murder”.
Williams eventually tells Marsha the truth, and she persuades him to go back to clear his wife. When he does he is expediently charged by the incompetent and naive district attorney with murdering Torrence, due to the lies of his wife, against whom charges are dismissed.
Marsha enlists the help of the wise, expert police detective, Lt. Tom Quincy (Charles Coburn) to prove Walter’s innocence. With the additional evidence of the housekeeper Su Lin (Anna May Wong), the hotel key is found, leading them to Torrence’s suitcase at the hotel, and Walter is freed. His wife is then rearrested, this time charged with conspiracy to murder. Walter returns to his executive position, and Walter and Marsha decide to move to Denver, Colorado.
Brian Donlevy as Walter Williams
Ella Raines as Marsha Peters
Charles Coburn as Lt. Tom Quincy
Helen Walker as Irene Williams
Anna May Wong as Su Lin Chung
Robert Warwick as Capt. Callahan
Clarence Kolb as Darcy
Art Baker as Eldredge - Defense Attorney
William Wright as Prosecutor
Mae Marsh as Mrs. King (Marsha’s mother)
Sheilah Graham as herself
Tony Barrett as Jim Torrence
Philip Ahn as Ah Sing
Glen Vernon as Ed (as Glenn Vernon)
Linda Leighton as Miss Revere - Telephone Operator (as Linda Johnson)
Jason Robards, Sr. as Judge (as Jason Robards)
Erskine Sanford as Dr. Henry Bender
Ruth Robinson as Apt. Manager
Lucius Cooke as Burke
Tom Greenway as Moving Van Driver
Ben Welden as Moving Van Helper
Joel Friedkin as Uncle Ben
Joe Kirk as Hotel Clerk
William Ruhl as Fingerprint Expert (as Bill Ruhl)
Mary Landa as Della - Walker’s Secretary
Harry Cheshire as Irene’s Attorney