A criminal mastermind (Rod Steiger) cons an electronics expert (James Mason) into making some bombs that are small, but capable of bringing down an airplane. Then he and his gang of pretty stupid people (Angie Dickenson, Jack Klugman, and Neville Brand) kidnap him and his wife (Inger Stevens) and young daughter, forcing the wife to collect the $500,000 payoff from an airline whose planes he threatens to blow up.
This is one of those criminal masterminds whose plans are always far, far too complicated, which just invites some sort of foul-up. Also, it’s pretty stupid. There are a dozen plot holes. However, some of it is pretty tense, particularly Brand’s portrayal of a sexual psychopath. The filming is nicely noir, and there is something that modern audiences might not notice: there is a lot of filming done while someone is actually driving a car. It was still a bit of a technological challenge in 1958, which is why you see so many shots in movies of actors sitting in what it obviously a mock-up of a front seat, with very phony projected scenery visible through the back window.