Good one based on the Whit Masterson novel. Raymond Burr is a mother dominated nutcase obsessed with sweet young thing Natalie Wood. Edmund O’Brien is her enraged cop father.
Owen Clark (Richard Anderson) and Liz Taggart (Natalie Wood) are in Lover’s Loop doin’ that love talk. They have to go there because her father won’t let any boys in the house and is very possessive. Watching from the bushes, lunch box in hand, is Harold Loftus (Raymond Burr).
He drops the lunch box and Owen goes to investigate. Harold knocks him out and then knocks out Liz. He takes her to Owen’s car and drives off. He has his car stashed nearby and changes vehicles. He drives her to an abandoned brickyard.
A couple sees Owen out cold and figure he’s drunk. They try and pour booze into him and then take off thinking he’s dead when he doesn’t move. Two cops drive into the loop as Owen comes to. He can’t remember what happened. They smell the booze on him and think he’s blotto and take him to the station and lock him up.
A doctor (Peter Hansen) doesn’t think he’s a drunk and has him brought into Captain Ed Bates’ (Brian Donlevy) office. Owen remembers everything. Bates goes to Captain Dan Taggart’s house and tells him what happened. Taggart wants to get at Owen and blames him for the kidnap.
Owen is with Bates and Taggart as they go back to the loop and discover tire tracks from Harold’s car. One tire is bigger than the other three. Harold’s mother calls desk Sgt.Jensen (Herb Vigran) and reports her baby is missing. Baby is thirty-two, six feet and two hundred pounds. Jensen tells Bates about it.
Bates thinks something’s not right and takes Taggart and Owen to Harold’s place. When Owen sees Harold’s picture he tells the cops that’s the guy who slugged him.
There are some good suspenseful scenes between Burr and Wood. O’Brien is in a rage most of the movie while Donlevy is the voice of reason. This is well worth checking out.