Originally planned as a vehicle for Frank Sinatra, The Third Day featured George Peppard as a young man who staggers drenched and dishevelled up a river bank after his car has plunged into the water. His blank expression suggests something deeper than mere shock.
He is, in fact, suffering from amnesia. At a nearby roadhouse, however, he is identified as Steve Mallory and presently an elderly woman calls for him. Her name is Catherine Parsons (Mona Washbourne) and she explains that she is his aunt by marriage and that waiting for him at home are her son Oliver (Roddy McDowall) and his lawyer, Lawrence Conway (Charles Drake).
Steve’s arrival at the house fails to jog his memory and Oliver is obviously hostile. Steve, it appears, has married into the wealthy Parsons family and has supplanted Oliver as head of the family business.
Conway tells Steve that there was a girl with him in the car, Holly Mitchell (Sally Kellerman) – a barmaid of dubious reputation.
It transpires that Steve has been living it up, drinking, brawling and womanising, and his wife, Alexandra (Elizabeth Ashley), is about to leave him.
He resolves to solve the mystery surrounding him and perhaps win back his wife. It takes three days to finally sort all the pieces out hence the title of the film.
Unfortunately, the disappointing climax proves too pat and unbelievable, wrapping everything up neatly. The film was quickly forgotten after modest box office returns.