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At a London gallery, robbers steal the Green Buddha, a small, priceless statue believed to be eighteen hundred years old. One of the thieves is caught while trying to escape, but the others, Knobby, Casey O'Rourke and Tony Scott, elude the police. Before they deliver the Buddha to Frank Olsen, the antique shop owner who hired them for the robbery, Scott double-crosses his accomplices and drives off alone with the statue. The gallery official, Mr. Johnson, offers a large reward for the Buddha's return, and Inspector Flynn, who is in charge of the case, closes all airports temporarily, to prevent the robbers from leaving the country. Meanwhile, nightclub singer Vivien Blake calls her acquaintances, American Gary Holden and his roommate Henry Marsh, who are owner of a charter airplane service, and asks them to fly her friend to Glasgow. When her friend, Scott, arrives at the airport, he claims to be in a hurry and insists that Gary, who will pilot the plane, forego filing a flight plan. As they are taking off, the police arrive and order them to stop, but Scott forces Gary at gunpoint to keep flying and demands to be taken to France. Gary tries to overpower Scott, but loses control of the plane, sending it crashing in a field near Crowley, England. Unharmed, Scott escapes, leaving the unconscious Gary aboard. When Gary revives, he returns to London and is questioned by the police. Later, at the houseboat they share, Gary and Henry worry that the lack of a flight plan will invalidate their insurance claim. Because they are unable to replace their only plane, their fledgling business is destroyed and they face financial ruin. Recalling that the museum's reward for the return of the statue would be enough to buy a new plane, Gary decides to conduct his own investigation into the robbery. To that end, Gary meets Vivien at the nightclub where she performs and asks her why she sent Scott to them. Claiming barely to know the man, Vivien says that she was referring business to them as a favor. Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call for Vivien, during which she writes the phone number of Vittorio Miranda on a slip of paper and leaves the nightclub. Outside, she is abducted by Knobby and Casey, and driven to Olsen's shop. The robbers interrogate her about Scott and find the paper with Miranda's number in her purse. Remembering that Miranda served time in prison with Scott, they call the number and are connected to the Crime Museum at an amusement park in Battersea. Leaving Vivien with Knobby, Olsen and Casey proceed to Battersea. Gary, who followed Vivien and witnessed her abduction, rescues her and they also go to the amusement park. When they arrive, Gary and Vivien witness Scott being chased across a street by Olsen and Casey. To evade them, Scott impulsively turns back and is killed by an oncoming lorry. After surreptiously taking the wallet from Scott's body, Gary tells the police that Scott was the man on the plane, then takes Vivien to the houseboat. Having seen her pained reaction when Scott was killed, Gary again asks about their relationship and she finally admits that he was a former boyfriend. However, she says that their relationship had ended and she was unaware that he had stolen the Buddha. She also admits that Scott called her at the club, asking her to meet him at the Crime Museum, where Miranda works. While searching Scott's wallet, Gary finds a roundtrip ticket to Crowley and wonders if Scott hid the Buddha somewhere near their crash site. Upon returning to Crowley, Gary notices an abandoned mill near the field in which his plane crashed. While searching the mill, Gary sees O'Rourke approaching and hides, then watches as O'Rourke retrieves the briefcase Scott carried on the plane. Soon after, Olsen arrives, chases O'Rourke to a nearby bridge and kills him. While O'rourke and Olsen are fighting, Gary takes the briefcase and returns home. Later at the houseboat, Gary breaks the latch of the briefcase, expecting to find the Buddha, but to his disappointment, finds only stones inside. Suspecting that Vivien deceived him, Gary confronts her at the nightclub, where she swears she told him everything she knows. Vivien reminds Gary that Henry knew he was returning to Crowley and might have gotten there first and stolen the Buddha. When she also suggests Miranda as a possible suspect, Gary decides to talk to him. Meanwhile, Olsen meets with Miranda at the amusement park and demands the Buddha. After negotiating a reward, Miranda hands over the statue, but, instead of paying him, Olsen pulls out his gun. Gary's unexpected appearance saves Miranda's life, but Olsen grabs the Buddha and runs away with it. With Gary and the police in pursuit, Olsen darts onto the roller coaster tracks and is run over by an oncoming car. After Knobby and Miranda are arrested, Gary asks the police how they knew to come to the amusement park. Flynn says that Vivien alerted them and adds that Gary will get the gallery's reward money. Nearby, Gary finds Vivien waiting for him, and they begin a serious courtship.