Dan Hilliard (Fredric March) has just enjoyed a wonderful breakfast prepared by his wife Eleanor (Martha Scott). He enjoys sharing the morning paper with his daughter Cindy (Mary Murphy), and talking with his young son Ralphie (Richard Eyer), who has just declared he would prefer to be called Ralph, before heading off to work. As Dan and Cindy head off in the car, Ralph joins his friends to walk to school, leaving Eleanor to start her morning chores.
Meanwhile, Glenn Griffin (Humphrey Bogart), his brother Hal (Dewey Martin), and Kobish (Robert Middleton), has just escaped from prison. Looking for the first place they can seek refuge at, they show up at the Hilliard's door. As Eleanor opens the door the men barge in immediately take over, forcing Eleanor to wait on their every need until her husband returns. Now the family must try to carry on with their normal activities and not draw any attention to themselves while they await the arrival of Glenn's girlfriend who's arriving with their cash to make a clean getaway. But when she is delayed, their plans start to unravel driving everyone to many desperate hours of survival.
1955 - Edgar Allan Poe Awards - Best Screenplay
1955 - National Board of Review - Best Director
Director: William Wyler
Writer: Joseph Hayes
Producer: William Wyler