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Counterplot

Counterplot(1959)

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Brock Miller is hiding out near San Juan, Puerto Rico, as he has been framed for the murder of New York importer and gambler David Nibley. Manuel, a local shoeshine boy, is helping Brock by bringing food to the abandoned beach house where he is hiding, but displays an unhealthy interest in Brock's gun. When Connie, Brock's girl friend, arrives in San Juan from New York, Manuel is hostile toward her, as he thinks of himself as Brock's best friend and feels she is destroying their relationship. Connie, who has an engagement as a singer at a local club, asks a waiter for information on Brock's whereabouts. Manuel has deliberately failed to tell Brock that Connie is in town, but Brock finds out when he hears her on a radio broadcast from the club. Fritz Bergmann, a crooked lawyer, learns that Brock is on the island and arranges to have Connie meet Brock at his house. Brock then proposes a plan to Bergmann, which he claims would benefit them both. Brock phones Steve MacGregor, an insurance agent with the company that insured Nibley, whose partner, Ben Murdock, had insured him for $200,000. The insurance company will not pay off on the policy until Brock is convicted and he is determined to prove his innocence. After convincing MacGregor to advance him some money in order to trap the real killer, Brock asks Bergmann to phone Murdock to say that he knows something about Nibley's death and he should therefore come to San Juan. When Murdock arrives, Bergmann tells him that Brock is there and determined to prove that Murdock is the guilty party. Murdock then takes Bergmann into his confidence and tells him about the night of the murder while Bergmann secretly records his statement: Brock attempts to recover a $3,000 gambling debt from Nibley and, in a fight witnessed by a maid, knocks him out, then leaves. When Nibley wakes up, Murdock kills him by pounding his head into the floor. Back in the present, Murdock tells Bergmann that he wants to kill Brock before the police find him, whereupon Bergmann demands $100,000 in cash from Murdock in exchange for Brock's location. Meanwhile, Brock attempts to leave for South America by boat and has to tell Manuel that he is going alone and may never return. Brock then asks the boy to fetch Connie so that they can say goodbye, but Manuel does not give her the message and Brock waits in vain. The police are tipped off and race to the dock but Brock manages to elude them. When a messenger arrives from New York with the cash, Murdock gives the money to Bergmann in exchange for the information. However, after Murdock leaves, Bergmann phones MacGregor and tells him that he has recorded Murdock's confession and has no intention of giving Murdock accurate information about Brock. Murdock then returns to Bergmann's house, draws a gun on the lawyer and reveals that Bergmann's assistant, Spargo, has told him where Brock really is. After Murdock leaves to kill Brock, Bergmann and Spargo fight, and although Spargo throws a knife into his back, Bergmann shoots and kills him. Fatally wounded, Bergmann phones MacGregor, tells him where the tape is and warns him that Murdock is on his way to Brock's house. When Connie then learns of the developments, she tells Brock that he is no longer a wanted man. Murdock shows up, followed by the police, but Manuel saves Brock's life when he shoots Murdock with Brock's gun. Manuel collapses against Connie and it appears that the three will become a family.