Alex (Jane Fonda) wakes up one morning in a strange bed; the man next to her has a knife in his heart. Could she possibly have killed him or has she been framed? Alex is an alcoholic whose ten year marriage to Jacky (Raul Julia), a hairdresser, has ended, and her acting career is on the skids. Turner Kendall (Jeff Bridges), a redneck ex-cop, is also divorced and living in limbo. His credo "I like to repair stuff, whatever people are through with" impels him to help Alex.
Director Sidney Lumet draws out an emotionally affecting performance from Jane Fonda as a woman two steps from the point of no return. Lumet says it all commenting on the finale of this romantic murder mystery: "Jane and Jeff play characters that are like one-winged birds: only after they have found each other are they able to fly."