A drifter (Dana Andrews) arrives in a small California coastal town and immediately gets the hots for a sexy but cold hearted waitress (Linda Darnell at her sluttiest). He concocts a plan to marry a well off spinster (Alice Faye), get her money, dump her and marry the waitress. But when murder enters the picture, he's the prime suspect! Based on the novel by Marty Holland and directed by Otto Preminger. This B&W noir may not have the reputation of his LAURA but it's still pretty good. This was when Preminger still made tight economical features before the bloat set in during the late 1950s. Unfortunately when Darnell leaves the picture, some of the film's juice goes with her. Faye's angelic understanding doormat is no substitute for Darnell's sultry femme fatale. Though it's well done, as a whodunit it's on the weaker side as the element of surprise is missing for it's not too difficult to guess the murderer. The moody cinematography is by Joseph LaShelle (THE APARTMENT) and the underscore by David Raksin (LAURA) gives the film a needed lift. Faye left the movies after this film and wouldn't make another movie for 17 years. With Charles Bickford, Anne Revere, Percy Kilbride and Bruce Cabot.