In this film noir with romantic overtones, con man and cardsharp Nick Blake (John Garfield) returns home after serving in WWII to discover that a rival syndicate now controls New York's gambling rackets -- and that his girlfriend Toni (Faye Emerson) has run off with his money. Looking for a fresh start, Nick heads for California, where he becomes reacquainted with Pop Grueber (Walter Brennan), who gave him his start in the underworld. Pop and his boss Doc Ganson (George Coulouris) tip Nick off to a scam they've brainstormed to separate young widow Gladys Halvorsen (Geraldine Fitzgerald) from her recently inherited fortune. Nick's job is to sweet talk Gladys out of her money and then make tracks, but he finds himself falling in love with her and wants out of the deal. Meanwhile, Toni comes back into the picture and tries to convince Doc that Nick is trying to cheat him, leading to a kidnapping. Incidentally, John Garfield won the leading role in Nobody Lives Forever after Humphrey Bogart turned it down.