Down on his luck, professional gambler Dan Milner accepts a mysterious job that will take him out of the country for a year but pays $50,000. He accepts a $5,000 advance and tickets that will take him to an isolated Mexican resort, Morro's Lodge, where he will receive further instructions. Milner is attracted to the only other passenger on his chartered flight to the resort, Lenore Brent. When he arrives, Milner finds that several guests at the luxurious Baja California resort have hidden agendas. He is disappointed to find that Lenore is the girlfriend of famous movie actor Mark Cardigan.
Milner overhears two guests, self-proclaimed author Martin Krafft and a man named Thompson, planning something which he suspects involves him. When Milner confronts them, he is given $10,000 and told that someone is on his way to Baja to see him. Seemingly drunk Bill Lusk flies in, despite warnings of very dangerous storm conditions. Milner thinks he must be the contact but when the two are alone, Lusk says he is an undercover agent for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. He tells Milner that the U.S. government suspects that underworld boss Nick Ferraro, deported to Italy four years earlier, is scheming to get back into the country posing as Milner. The two men are a close physical match and Milner is a loner, so no one is likely to miss him. Krafft turns out to be a plastic surgeon.
Cardigan's wife Helen and his personal manager Gerald Hobson show up. She had gone to Reno to get a divorce, though not really intending to go through with it, as she is still fond of her husband. Hobson also thinks it is a poor idea because Cardigan's film contract is expiring and the bad publicity would make it hard to get a new one. With her own plans ruined, Lenore confesses to Milner that she is really just a singer looking to hook a wealthy spouse. Milner shows his softer side when he helps unhappy newlywed Jennie Stone by cheating at poker to win back her husband's gambling losses from investment broker Myron Winton. Lusk sneaks into Thompson's room but is caught and killed. Milner and Lenore stumble upon his body dumped on the beach; Milner is convinced that the dead man must have been telling the truth.
That night, Thompson and his men take Milner to a yacht, recently arrived in the bay. Milner is able to pass along a veiled plea for help to Lenore. She persuades Cardigan, who is tired of just pretending to be a hero, to help out. While the actor keeps the mobsters pinned down with his hunting rifle, Milner sneaks back onto the boat, knowing that the only way out of his mess is to deal with Ferraro once and for all. He is caught and brought to the crime lord. After killing two of the thugs and wounding and capturing Thompson, Cardigan mounts a rescue with the reluctant assistance of the Mexican police and a couple of the more adventurous guests. A gunfight breaks out aboard the boat, followed by a melee. Milner manages to break free and shoot Ferraro dead. Cardigan and his wife are reconciled. Milner and Lenore end the film in a clinch.
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