Cast & Crew
While visiting her friend, Colonel Leonard Crecy, in Kenya, Helen Chalmers, Leonard and their companion, Norman Bellamy, entreat their friend, pilot Freddie Bastion, to be their "fourth" in a bridge game. As a storm is approaching, Freddie worries about leaving the dam he oversees, but dismisses his concerns and flies to Helen's home for the game. After they finish, the storm grows in intensity and Freddie flies back, despite Helen's entreaties for him to stay. As he flies over the dam, he sees it break, and a torrent of water destroys the house in which his sisters live. The control stick in his plane then breaks off, and the plane goes out of control and crashes. An investigation leads an inspector to implicate Leonard, Helen and Norman in Freddie's death because had they not urged him to leave the dam, he could have opened sluices that would have saved the dam. In England, meanwhile, Freddie's brother, Timothy Bastion, reads this information in a letter from the inspector, and flies into a rage. Bastion, known to be mentally unbalanced, plots revenge against the trio because he blames them for his brother's death. After he escapes from a mental institution, he practices his knife-throwing and, while enroute to Helen's house in Santa Barbara, California, sends threatening telegrams to Helen, Leonard and Norman. Alarmed by Bastion's notes, the three friends gather in Santa Barbara and anticipate Bastion's arrival. Helen's new butler, Skinner, arrives, as does her sister Gloria, Gloria's beau Andrew Forsythe, Helen's new neighbor, Mrs. Sybil Thornton, and Sybil's acquaintance, Ronald Cavendish. After a knife is found with a note announcing that Bastion has arrived, the guests become concerned as they do not know Bastion's identity. A mysterious assailant then tampers with the fuse box and the lights go out. Skinner restores the lights, and after discovering that all the cars have been sabotaged and the phone is dead, the men leave the women safely locked in a room and search for the wire to fix the phones. Norman is killed by a knife in the back, but all the men have alibis. When Crecy's driver, Wilcox, is shot at while he tries to go for help, the men search the house for the rifle. Unknown to them, Gloria has also slipped out to look for the gun. Leonard is knifed in the back, but survives, while Cavendish is found locked in the bathroom. The men then decide to remain in one room with the women until help arrives, but Forsythe insists on looking for Gloria, who found the rifle, but was bound and gagged by Skinner and left in a room upstairs. After they listen to the police band on the radio and hear that a detective has been in their midst the whole time, Cavendish steps forward and identifies himself as the detective and attempts to arrest Skinner. Skinner becomes hysterical, vows to escape, and throws Helen to the floor just as Cavendish, who is actually Bastion, hurls a knife at her. Forsythe, who comes in from behind, shoots Bastion in the hand, and the knife misses Helen. Skinner reveals that he is the detective, and the police arrive to arrest Bastion.
A. S. Byron
According to a Daily Variety news item, Mitchell Leisen was originally slated as director but was assigned to another film and replaced by Ralph Murphy.