Schuyler (Kirk Douglas) is a hard-boiled detective who turns in his badge when he believes the criminals are being handled with kid gloves and too much respect. He is hired by prominent attorney Fredericks (Eli Wallach) as a bodyguard for his client Rena (Sylva Koscina), who is accused of murdering her husband. Her playboy boyfriend Fleming (Kenneth Haigh) is also under suspicion. Schuylur keeps one eye on his beautiful suspect while trying to uncover more information about the murder. Fredericks displays a disarming, folksy nature which belies his shrewdness. The detective soon comes to believe that Rena is being framed for the murder. Singer Jackie Wilson delivers the song "A Lovely Way To Die" during the opening credits of this murder mystery.