Starring Burt Lancaster in his debut as well as Ava Garner, the film begins with two gunmen killing "The Swede" (Lancaster) in a small town. Interested in the mystery, an insurance investigator named Reardon (Edmund O'Brien) tries to piece together the past of the dead man. He works to gather more information and talks to "The Swede's" former friend as well as a hotel worker, and a past cell mate. Through a series of flashbacks Reardon slowly strings together the past including "The Swede's" boxing career, his time in prison, and especially an alluring woman, Kitty Collins (Gardner).In the climatic scene Reardon finally meets the beautiful Kitty. Only after a series of events and her quick getaway does he grasp the whole truth. Kitty was a deadly double crosser. However, in a cruel twist her partner in crime is killed and her fate is sealed. This is an exciting film noir with solid acting and a great style of storytelling.