381 4 months ago
381 4 months ago
Los Angeles police detective Bill Doyle and his partner, captain Charlie Alidos, track a female fugitive wanted for murder to San Francisco. He meets Kathy Ferguson, a San Francisco newspaper advice columnist, and they fall in love. She manages to gain the fugitive's trust after locating her. Kathy's resulting front-page story leads to an offer of employment in New York City, but she abandons her career, marries Bill and moves to Los Angeles.
Kathy's new role as a suburban wife and homemaker quickly makes her unhappy. She wants her husband to make a name for himself, but Bill has different values; he works simply in order to afford a comfortable lifestyle. Kathy schemes to propel her husband up the career ladder without his knowledge. She intentionally causes an automobile accident with Alice Pope as a ploy to become acquainted with Alice's husband, police inspector Tony Pope, the head of Bill's division. Tony realizes what Kathy has done but says nothing.
Kathy's continuing ploys bring her into conflict with Sara, Charlie's equally ambitious wife, and Charlie begins to find fault with Bill at every opportunity. Vicious rumors circulate about Kathy's relationship with Tony. When Bill sees a poison pen letter that Kathy has received, he rushes to work and punches Charlie in front of two police witnesses. Tony interrogates the men involved but considers the matter closed because Charlie had reached for his gun when Bill had angrily burst into the room, so both men were at fault. Charlie is transferred to another division, and Bill is given his former position as an acting homicide captain.
When Alice is hospitalized after succumbing to years of mental strain as a policeman's wife, Tony decides to retire. When Tony comes to inform Kathy about Alice's breakdown and his plans to retire, Kathy tries to persuade him to recommend Bill for the vacancy that his departure will create. During their talk, he seems to consider the idea favorably, then grabs and kisses her. She recoils at first, then embraces him. Afterward, however, he avoids her. When Kathy finally forces Tony to meet her, he says that he regrets their one-night stand and dismisses any suggestion that he would recommend Bill for promotion as "pillow talk." He states that Bill is not qualified and that he will recommend Charlie as his successor, which infuriates Kathy.
When Kathy accompanies Bill to the police station, she steals a gun used in a robbery and murder that her husband is investigating. Kathy then confronts Pope at his home and appeals to him once again, pleading that she is asking not just for Bill but for herself. With Pope planning to recommend Charlie, she is consumed by guilt knowing that she had cheated on Bill without a result. She implores Pope to at least not recommend Charlie. Kathy argues that if Pope recommends no one, her husband will still have a chance to obtain the job and she will be left with some justification for her infidelity. Pope coldly refuses, so she shoots him dead.
The entire police department works on Pope's murder investigation. When the murder weapon is discovered to have been a gun that the police had had in their custody and somehow lost, Bill deduces that the killer must be Kathy as she was present when the gun went missing. When Bill confronts Kathy and she confesses, she tells him, "Now I'll know just how much of a cop you really are." Bill responds, "The same cop, Kathy. The same cop you met in Frisco. Same cop I was 10 years ago, pounding a beat. The same cop." He drives her to police headquarters, where Bill secures a room for Kathy to be questioned about Pope's murder.
Barbara Stanwyck as Kathy Ferguson Doyle
Sterling Hayden as Police Lieutenant Bill Doyle
Raymond Burr as Police Inspector Anthony Pope
Fay Wray as Alice Pope
Virginia Grey as Sara Alidos
Royal Dano as Police Captain Charlie Alidos
Robert Griffin as Police Sergeant Jame
Dennis Cross as Police Sergeant Jules
Jay Adler as Mr. Nalence
Stuart Whitman as Laboratory Technician
Malcolm Atterbury as Police Officer Spitz
Robert Quarry as Sam
Gail Bonney as Mrs. London
Joe Conley as Delivery Boy