Walter Williams (Brian Donlevy) is a take-charge captain of industry who has worked his way up in a San Francisco steel company from a position as a sheet metal worker. He loves his wife Irene (Helen Walker) very much and they have planned a vacation drive together. Irene cancels at the last minute claiming a toothache, but asks that Walter drive her cousin Jim Torrance (Tony Barrett) as far as Illinois. Walter agrees and he and Jim take off together but later Jim knocks Walter unconscious and takes the car only to be hit himself by a truck and killed, his body burned beyond recognition. Walter comes to and suffering a concussion and deep confusion from feeling betrayed by Irene hides out in a small Midwest town until guilt and peer pressure force him to go back to San Francisco and tell his story to the Police. But by the time Walter returns to San Francisco a clever detective Lieutenant Quincy (Charles Coburn) has uncovered some facts about Irene and her cousin' Jim. The police have been holding Irene for the murder of her husband Walter but release her considering that Walter was hiding out because he had killed Jim. Along the way to uncovering the truth in Court Walter realizes some hard fact about what he holds valuable and the trust he has put in those around him.