Nicholas Ray directs this film noir adaptation of the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. Troubled screenwriter Dixon Steele (Bogart) is given the opportunity to reinvigorate his failing career by creating a film adaptation of a trashy novel. After balking at the thought of actually reading it, Dixon hires Mildred (Martha Stewart), who he meets in a bar, to summarise the novel for him. They leave the bar together but when Mildred is found murdered the next day Dixon is the prime suspect. His only forthcoming alibi is from Laurel Gray (Grahame), who testifies to his innocence out of affection, rather than truth. As the pair fall helplessly in love, Laurel is haunted by the possibility that Dixon was the murderer.