Though based on a true story, the principal inspiration for The Night Holds Terror was the success of Paramount's The Desperate Hours. Jack Kelly plays well-to-do businessman Gene Courtier, who makes the mistake of his life when he picks up hitchhiker Victor Gosset (Vincent Edwards). Soon afterward, Gosset and his criminal confederates (John Cassavetes, David Cross) are holding Courtier and his family hostage. Upon learning that Courtier has a lot of money in the bank, the trio kidnap the businessman and hold him for ransom. Working in concert with Courtier's wife Doris (Hildy Parks), the FBI manages to keep apace with the criminals via the telephone system. Only occasionally resorting to family-held-captive cliches, The Night Holds Terror is an effective suspenser. Leading lady Hildy Parks later became an influential TV and theatrical producer.