powered by AFI
FBI agent Ralph Payne is on a skiing vacation at Big Bear, California with atomic scientist Dr. Lanson and his assistant, Ted Nolan. Unknown to Ralph, Nolan is in league with a group of Communists, led by Joan Cochran, who expect Nolan to deliver to them a microfilm of Lanson's latest research. After helping sisters Donna and Peggy Weeks with their stalled car, Nolan proceeds to the cabin he is sharing with Lanson and searches through his papers. Meanwhile, Donna introduces herself to Ralph, and acquaintance Cochran persuades Lanson not to return to his cabin, thereby giving Nolan more time. When Lanson does return, he finds Nolan photographing his papers and struggles with him for possession of the camera. The fight moves outside where Peggy witnesses Nolan kill Lanson, load the body into his car and drive off. Peggy then enters the cabin, finds the camera and papers and returns to her own cabin, where she hides them under the bathroom sink. Later, while skiing, Ralph and Donna find Lanson's body, which Nolan has arranged to make it appear that he was the victim of a skiing accident. Ralph then identifies himself to the local sheriff and summons other agents, who examine the cabin for evidence. After the coroner cannot confirm that Lanson died as a result of a skiing accident, Ralph suspects that Lanson was murdered and that there has been a security leak. When interviewed, Peggy does not inform on Nolan and confirms his version of the timing of events. Cochran and the other Communists, puzzled by Peggy's behavior, expect her to make the next move and, that night, when Nolan returns to his cabin, he finds her waiting for him. Peggy informs him that she wants $10,000 for the papers and, as proof that she has them, shows him the camera. The next day, Nolan reports to his comrades and they decide to do the exchange at the post office the following day, before they all leave for Mexico. Ralph had started to suspect Nolan and Peggy and puts them under twenty-four hour surveillance. As the sale of the documents is about to take place, Donna blunders into the set-up and Nolan and Peggy run off. Nolan then shoots and wounds an FBI agent and drives away with Peggy, pursued by the sheriff. Meanwhile, agents follow Cochran and her companions to an airstrip where a light plane lands. After Nolan and Peggy abandon their car and head for the airstrip on foot, he takes the money and the documents and they struggle for possession of the gun. Nolan wins and shoots her. Cochran and her cohorts then prevent Nolan from boarding the plane and attempt to leave without him. However, the agents fire multiple gunshots at the plane, forcing it to stay on the ground. In a shootout with Nolan, Ralph kills him as Peggy dies in Donna's arms. Later, when Donna leaves, Ralph tells her he would like to be a part of her life.