A former prisoner of war, Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is hailed as a hero in his California town. However, Frank actually aided his Nazi captors, and he closely guards this secret. Frank's shameful past comes back to visit him when fellow survivor Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan) emerges, intent on making the turncoat pay for his betrayal. As Joe closes in on Frank, the traitor goes into hiding, abandoning his wife, Edith (Janet Leigh), who has no clue about her husband's wartime transgressions.
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