Based on a Cornell Woolrich story about a man coming out of amnesia only to find he’s accused of murder. Some suspense but veterans of movies like this won’t be guessing for too long about who dun it.
Frank Thompson is walking down the street when he’s hit on the head by some building material. He’s okay until he discovers he’s carrying a cigarette case with the initials D.N., the same one’s that are in his hat. He goes to his apartment only to find out that his wife Virginia is long gone.
He finds out where she’s living and she’s more than happy to resume there life together. She says he disappeared a year ago and put it down to amnesia. Frank gets his old job back. He doesn’t know why a man is following him. He’s Detective Joe Marruci (Sheldon Leonard). Marruci tries to stop Frank from leaving in a cab, No such luck. He then goes to Virginia’s place and tries to break the door down. Meanwhile Frank gets her out by the fire escape and puts her in a cab to her mother’s place until he can find out what’s been going on the past year.
He goes back to the neighborhood where he was hit on the head and wanders around hoping someone will recognize him. The only one who does is a pawn shop owner where he’s pawned the cigarette case three times. The man says he’s always given a phony address.
A fire breaks out in a building and a crowd goes to check it out, including Frank. A woman named Ruth Dillon (Claire Trevor) hustles him inside her apartment. Frank finds out she thinks he’s her boyfriend Danny Nearing. He tries to play along so he can find out what’s going on. She goes out for beer and he searches the place. He finds newspaper clippings that say he’s wanted for the murder of Harry Diedrich. Frank worked there using the Nearing name. Ruth is the maid.
Frank goes to the house in New Jericho with a reluctant Ruth and searches for clues. he finds Grandma Diedrich. She’s an invalid who can’t talk but can communicate by blinking. Meanwhile, Marucci is in the lical D.A.’s office where Harry’s brother Bill (Jerome Cowan) and his widow Alma are being questioned. The two have obviously been having an affair and she says Harry was about to agree to a divorce. Lots of money involved.
Frank doesn’t know it but Marucci is keeping an eye on things with the sheriff. It looks like Frank is getting somewhere with Grandma. She saw the murder and knows who the real killer is. She’s too afraid to tell Frank.
Sheldon Leonard is his usual tough guy as Marucci and gives a good performance. Also some good acting from Meredith and Trevor. Not the best of the noir movies but still worth checking out.