Prosecutor John Conroy (Edmond O'Brien) is determined to bring down organized crime in his Midwestern town. He looks to his father, Matt (Tom Tully), a police officer, for help, but Matt refuses. John's childhood friend Jerry McKibbon (William Holden), an investigative reporter, senses something fishy and spies on Matt. Jerry learns that Matt is communicating with a gangster (Ed Begley), but hides his discovery from John. Instead, Jerry confides in John's girlfriend, Mandy (Alexis Smith).