Vincent Price stars in this gothic melodrama directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Set in the 1840s, Price plays tortured landowner Nicholas Van Ryn, a man who grows to hate his wife because she has been unable to provide him with a son. After hiring young Miranda Wells (Gene Tierney) as a maid, Van Ryn begins to fall in love with her and poisons his wife so they can be together. Miranda eventually gives birth to a boy but the child does not survive, sending Van Ryn into a dark depression and a drug-induced rage. When Miranda begins to fear for his health, she employs local doctor Jeff Turner (Glenn Langan), who discovers the secret of Van Ryn's first wife's death and realises that Miranda may soon fall victim to Van Ryn's deranged psychosis.