A brain-damaged PT boat commander is exploited by his prominent family, but loved by his community. The World War II hero longs for his own small house, but his miserly sister-in-law refuses to provide the Commander with a $500 down payment, claiming that she needs every sou to marry off his troublesome younger brother to a wealthy woman.
A defense attorney idles in a swank restaurant while his client's on trial for murder. The attorney's PIs search for a female witness who can get the defendant off, so the attorney avoids court to keep delaying the trial. But as the judge's temper boils, the attorney wonders if the woman really exists.
A woman visits an isolated house expecting to meet with the realtor. Instead, she encounters a murderer who's escaped from a mental hospital. When a couple drops in to tour the home, she tries to escape with them, but they refuse to believe her story of a killer with a body in the fireplace.
Dick Powell plays a cop who returns home after a tough night only to be confronted with noisy kids, his wife, neighbors, delivery men and a vacuum cleaner salesman. When he discovers his gun is missing, he must track everyone down to see who has it.
A detective (Dick Powel) takes a trip to a cabin in the woods to get away from it all. A man, his wife, and his two kids entertain him. When one of the kids let's it slip that their step-mother just got her blond hair, the detective predicts she is running from the law and decides to check it out.
Wise-guy newspaperman Fred Jordan writes a column making fun of "normal" men who panic during a fire. Soon afterward he gets a letter from a deranged man who promises Jordan that he will soon know the "real" meaning of the word "panic"--because within 24 hours, the man is going to kill Jordan.
Kit and her fiancé are hosting a Mardi Gras costume party at her huge mansion when frightening news arrives. Her ex-husband, a crazed murderer, has just escaped from prison and is believed to be costumed as the corpse-like character from Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death."