When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of an union head, the man's life begins to unravel.
- Sydney Pollack
- Kurt Luedtke
- Columbia Pictures Corporation
- Mirage Enterprises
In Miami, Joey Diaz, president of the local longshoreman's union, has gone missing and is presumed murdered. Close to a year later, Elliot Rosen, who has been leading a strike force on the matter for the Justice Department, believes liquor wholesaler Michael Gallagher is responsible for Diaz's disappearance despite having no evidence and Michael on the surface being "clean". Rosen's belief stems from Michael having taken over his business on the death of his crooked father, Tommy Gallagher, a known bootlegger who had kept the union off the Miami docks for years. Megan Carter, a reporter for the Miami Standard who is working the Diaz story, has a personal connection to the strike force through FBI agent Bob Waddell, a member of the strike force and Megan's now ex-boyfriend. Megan learns that the strike force has placed Michael under investigation by reading the file they have on Michael that Rosen "conveniently" leaves on his desk while he leaves his office for a short period leaving Megan alone there. Rosen wanted the information leaked to the press so that Michael could eventually be squeezed for information, Megan who naively obliges what Rosen wants by writing a story as such. The front page story incenses Michael, who was not interviewed before the story went to press. Although the story is accurate in the way the facts are presented, there is still no proof Michael has done anything illegal or wrong in any manner, but the story will still place him in a bad light as possibly being guilty of murder. Megan refuses to divulge the source for the story to Michael, who knows his business will be negatively affected. Michael does have an alibi for the time of Diaz's disappearance which he does not even bring up, the alibi involving time spent with a long time platonic friend, devout Catholic Teresa Peron. Over time, Michael and Megan slowly start to fall for each other. Despite the story's negative impact on his life, Michael decides to take control of his life back only after one specific tragic incident. Megan is affected in two ways. First, she now becomes part of the story as Michael's girlfriend. And second, she may not be able to separate her role as Michael's girlfriend from that of reporter, she perhaps having to prioritize between the two.