After leaving the British Secret Service, David Somers (played by Trevor Howard) finds work cataloging butterflies at the country house of Nicholas and Jess Fenton. After the murder of a local gamekeeper, suspicion (wrongfully) falls on their niece, Sophie Malraux (Jean Simmons). Somers helps Sophie to escape arrest and they go on the run together. After a cross-country chase they arrive at a coastal city with the intention of leaving the country by ship. All's well that ends well after the true identity of the murderer is revealed.
P.C. George Dixon (Warner) is a long-serving traditional copper who is due to retire shortly. He takes a new recruit under his aegis and introduces him to the easy-going night beat. Dixon is a classic ordinary hero but also anachronistic, unprepared and unable to answer the violence of the 1950s.
In London, psychiatrist Clive Riordan suspects that his cool and polished wife, Storm, is having yet another affair. Abandoning his weekly card game, Clive returns home to find Storm with her latest lover, American Bill Kronin. To Storm's horror, Clive overpowers Bill and takes him away at gunpoint, then hides him in a secret location and taunts Storm with Bruce's condition. Scotland Yard gets involved when Storm contacts them about her missing dog.
Belfast police conduct a door-to-door manhunt for an IRA gunman (James Mason) wounded in a daring robbery.
An ex-con trying to go clean ends up working for a crooked trucking company swindling money.
A rich woman and a calculating insurance agent plot to kill her unsuspecting husband after he signs a double indemnity policy. Against a backdrop of distinctly Californian settings, the partners in crime plan the perfect murder to collect the insurance, which pays double if the death is accidental.
Centring on the activities of a gang of assorted criminals and, in particular, their leader – a vicious young hoodlum known as "Pinkie" – the film's main thematic concern is the criminal underbelly evident in inter-war Brighton.
A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.