powered by AFI
Lacking a place to sleep, Gerald Arthur Otley, an easygoing drifter who dabbles in petty thievery and womanizing, beds down at the flat of a friend who, unknown to him, is involved in smuggling state secrets. During the night, the friend is murdered, and Otley, suffering from a dreadful hangover, wakes up 2 days later in the middle of an airfield. After returning to London and learning that he is wanted by the police, he is kidnaped, interrogated, and beaten up by Hendrickson, an arrogant bully, and Imogen, a beautiful woman. They release Otley, and he falls into the hands of an effeminate spy, Philip Proudfoot, who turns him over to still another agent, Johnston, for extermination. Otley, it seems, lifted a tobacco holder from his murdered friend, unaware that it contained a tape-recorded message which is wanted by all of his captors. Baffled, Otley turns himself over to the police in the hope of finding a little peace and safety. But Imogen has him released and explains to him that she is a member of Sir Alec Hadrian's Parliament-sanctioned counter-spy organization. Following several more murders and aborted blackmail schemes, Otley is sent to a health farm to trap a treacherous double agent. Although Hendrickson is suspected, Sir Alec is eventually exposed as the true villain. No longer of use to either spy faction, the battered and confused Otley looks with disgust at his brief fling at espionage and returns happily to his Soho life of petty thievery--and the comfort of a Thames houseboat belonging to his girl friend, Lin.