Local residents are outraged when their small town's doctor is murdered while at a nearby military base during World War II. A suspect is soon named: Nazi prisoner of war Domsczek (Robert Carradine). The trial is mounted quickly -- but few want to defend such a heinous criminal. The onus falls on lawyer Harmon Cobb (Walter Matthau), who was best friends with the victim. Cobb will have to overcome both grief and social stigma in order to maintain his integrity while defending Domsczek.