James Wallraven (Michael Redgrave) is a West Country schoolmaster who has been dismissed for sexual misconduct with one of his students – although the script is careful to let us know that Wallraven was unfairly accused.
The disgraced Wallraven lives in a dilapidated boarding house in Bayswater (London), hoping that no one will learn his shameful secret.
His room has a connecting door to his neighbour – a repressed and mousie cellist called Wanda Fleming (Bette Davis, cast against type) – and a tentative relationship develops between the pair.
Wanda has a scruffy young student called Mickey Hollister (Alexis Kanner), who lusts for fame as a songwriter. Mickey also lusts for Wanda, even though he’s a lot younger and better-looking than she is.
Jealous that Wanda is giving her attention to Wallraven, Mickey reveals Wallraven’s secret (without revealing that Wallraven is, in fact, innocent).
Also appearing here as a topless model is the delightful Gabrielle Drake of UFO fame (pictured at right) as Mickey’s unfortunate girlfriend, Jean.