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|James Mason||Larry Quinada|
|Barbara Bel Geddes||Leonora Eames|
|Robert Ryan||Smith Ohlrig|
|Frank Ferguson||Dr. Hoffman|
|Curt Bois||Franzi Kartos|
|Natalie Schafer||Dorothy Dale|
"The story of a desperate girl!"
"He chased a dream that became a nightmare."
Young model Leonora Eames (Bel Geddes) marries multimillionaire Smith Ohlrig (Ryan). Ohlrig though is deranged and did not marry for love. Eames insists several times that she married for love, but the film suggests that she is deluding herself. When Ohlrig becomes too abusive, she leaves him, penniless, to find a job at a medical clinic in a poor neighborhood and eventually falls for Dr. Larry Quinada (Mason).
During a one-night reconciliation with Ohlrig, she becomes pregnant. Ohlrig seeks to use the child as leverage to force Leonora to return to him -- purely to assert his own power, and not out of any love for her. When he has an attack of angina (the film implies this is psychosomatic), Leonora refuses to help him swallow his medication. Thinking she's caused his death (he actually recovers), she calls Quinada for help and prematurely enters labor. Quinada rushes her to the hospital, but the baby is stillborn. With the baby lost, however, Ohlrig no longer has any leverage over Leonora, and she is now free to divorce him and marry Quinada.