Ernie Driscoll (John Payne) is an ex-fighter who came within seconds of winning the world championship. He's now forced to eke out a living driving a cab. A basically decent guy, he has lots of people who care about him, including Linda James (Evelyn Keyes), a slightly ditsy actress friend -- but Ernie also has a short fuse, especially where his wife Pauline (Peggie Castle) is concerned. His rage boils over when he spots her kissing another man, but her unfaithfulness turns out to be the least of his worries. The man she's seeing, Vic Rawlins (Brad Dexter), is a career criminal with both the police and his former partners after him, and he sees Ernie as the perfect fall-guy. The law and Rawlins' criminal associates are soon closing in on Ernie, while he tries desperately -- with Linda's help -- to buy the time he needs to unravel this nightmare.