Director Robert Hamer, best known for his Ealing films It Always Rains On Sundays and Kind Hearts And Coronets, used vivid location filming in and around the marshes and mudflats of the Thames Estuary to create a telling atmosphere of doom for this tough, gripping British thriller.
Phillip Davidson (John Mills), framed for a murder he did not commit, serves 12 years and comes out of jail determined to seek revenge on those responsible for his imprisonment. They include his former girlfriend Fay Lowther (Elizabeth Sellars), who is now married to the detective who was in charge of the case, Bob Lowther (John McCallum) and the real criminal who is prospering in business. Mills shuts himself away in a deserted barge on the Thames Estuary where he is kept under police surveillance and hounded by pressmen after a story. He rejects the friendship of tramp Jackson (Michael Martin-Harvey) and only a pathetic refugee girl, Ilse (Eve Bergh), is slowly able to get through to him and persuade him of the futility of trying to get back at the perjurers who sent him to jail. They reveal themselves, particularly Fay, as petty and contemptible. Finally, however, it is the real criminal, Boyd (John Chandos), who makes a move against Mills.