A WWII Coast Guard veteran, Lt. Scott Burnett (Robert Ryan), is plagued by nightmares of his combat days. One day, he meets a woman, Peggy Butler (Joan Bennett), walking on a beach, picking up pieces of wood. Butler is married to a grumpy, blind painter, Ted Butler (Charles Bickford). Despite his affections for his fiancée Eve (Nan Leslie), whose father is a boat builder, Scott falls in love with Peggy and soon breaks off the engagement. Peggy reveals that she blinded her husband years earlier by throwing a glass at him during an ugly spat, ruining his career and her own ambitions to be an upper-class socialite. Scott fears that Ted is suspicious that he is having an affair with Peggy and becomes so paranoid that he begins to believe that Ted is faking his blindness — and sets out to prove it. This was the fifth and final American film by the great French writer-director Jean Renoir.