In San Francisco, newspaper society reporter Claire Cummings marries rich businessman Carl Hanneman. However, after the ceremony, Claire tells sports writer Les Burns, who had been expecting to marry her, that she is really in love with him.
During their honeymoon in Los Angeles, Carl discovers a letter she has written to Les and leaves her, intending to divorce her. Claire charters a plane to fly her to San Francisco and back to Los Angeles in an attempt to establish an alibi for the murder she intends to commit.
When she officially returns to San Francisco, she invites Les to her house, where he discovers Carl, an apparent victim of suicide by gunshot. After Les takes Claire to stay with friends Hack and Mimi Doyle, police captain Bill Murdock stops by to question Claire and tells her that there were no fingerprints on the gun. Al Herrick, Les’s fellow reporter and another of Claire’s former conquests, is assigned to follow up on the case and believes that Carl was murdered.
When Hack tells Les that Herrick suspects Les of killing Carl, he denies it. After the district attorney informs Claire and Les that he is treating the case as a murder, Claire resumes writing her column. At a restaurant, Claire asks Herrick to introduce her to attorney Stanley Mason, whom her newspaper is endorsing for Congress, and then asks him to administer her late husband’s affairs and begins to seduce him.
Meanwhile, Murdock quizzes Les about his whereabouts on the night Carl was killed, but cannot prove anything. Charter pilot Blackie Talon tries to blackmail Claire, but she is only concerned about her affair with Mason, who plans to marry her and take her to Washington upon winning the election.
Through Mason, Claire meets the mysterious Dr. Geoffrey Klippinger, who offers to psychoanalyze her.Later, when Talon phones demanding more money and jewelry, she arranges to meet him and kills him. At a party celebrating his victory, Mason announces his engagement to Claire, and Les leaves very disillusioned. Later, Claire goes to Les’s apartment and tells him that, although she loves him, he could never give her the things she must have–money and social standing.
Mason, who has followed Claire, discovers her with Les and calls off the marriage. Claire offers him a farewell drink, then stabs him to death and tries to frame Les for the crime. The next day, after Hack asks Dr. Klippinger to help him to prove Les’s innocence, Klippinger visits Claire. Explaining that he has spent his life delving into distorted minds like hers, Klippinger accuses her of killing Mason and framing Les.
When Hack and Al enter and attempt to trick Claire into believing that the police are on their way, she shows Hack her last column in which she confesses to killing Carl, Talon and Mason. After stating that she loved only Les, Claire then tries to shoot Klippinger as he is the first man ever to see inside her mind. In the ensuing struggle with Klippinger, Claire shoots and kills herself.
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