In this gripping film noir (directed by Orson Welles), a college professor named Charles Rankin (played by Welles), lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young). But one afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke, arrives in town and his presence disturbs Professor. He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods where they talk, and we learn that kindly professor Rankin is actually a notorious Nazi war criminal named Franz Kindler. Worried that Meineke might give away his secret, Kindler kills him and leaves him in the woods.
With Meineke dead Kindler believes himself safe, since no one in town, including his wife, has any inkling of his previous life. But when a mild-mannered war crimes commissioner (Edward G. Robinson) pays a visit posing as an antiques dealer Rankin begins to realize he is in very serious danger.