Interesting mix of romance and mystery about a woman accused of killing her aunt and the assistant D.A. who prosecutes. To complicate matters the two were having an affair before the trouble started.
Assistant D.A.Cleve Marshall (Wendell Corey) gets drunk on his wedding anniversary. He resents his retired judge father-in-law and the feeling is mutual. Instead of going home where the judge is having dinner with the family he goes to a bar and then returns to the office for another bottle. Chief investigator Miles Scott (Paul Kelly) feels for him and then leaves him there on his own.
Thelma Jordan (Barbara Stanwyck) comes in. She was supposed to meet Scott to talk about her eccentric aunt. She’s afraid burglars are hanging around the house waiting to steal her jewelry and wants some protection so Thelma came down to try and arrange it.
She ends up going out to have a drink with Cleve who passes out in the bar. He wakes up and they go back to the office. In the car he makes the moves on her and she gives in. When he gets home, still drunk, he has nothing to say to wife Pam (Joan Tetzel).
Cleve doesn’t know Thelma is seeing a character named Tony Laredo (Richard Rober). She finally tells Cleve about him and lies by saying they’ve been estranged for a long time. Cleve doesn’t know he’s being followed.
Every summer Cleve and his family take a beach vacation. he says he can’t make it this year. Too much work. He wants to take off with Thelma on a trip. It’s all arranged. The D.A. arranged for a man maned Sidney to stay in the house with Vera and Thelma. Every time Cleve calls he gives a phony name.
Cleve calls on the night he and Thelma are supposed to go away. Sidney answers and he gives his usual fake name. Thelma tells him she can’t go, that something’s happened. Earlier Vera heard a burglar and went to investigate. She took a gun out of a drawer and walked into the library. The burglar also has a gun and kills Vera. A valuable emerald necklace has been stolen. Vera also made a recent change in her will that makes Thelma very rich.
Thelma gets out and meets Cleve. He tells her they have to go back so she can change the crime scene. He wants her to put her fingerprints back on the safe, Vera’s body and other locations. He sure that Tony is the culprit.
Scott asks Cleve to investigate the case. The footprints outside the window are Cleve’s but of course he’s not saying a thing. Tony has a perfect alibi. He proves he was out of town the night of the murder. Thelma is arrested and charged with the crime. In a plot with Cleve he arranges a lawyer for her and gets himself appointed prosecutor in order to get her acquitted.
This isn’t one of the best but it is worth seeing for the acting of Corey and Stanwyck.