Young widow Ayako Takigawa (Ayako Wakao) goes on trial for the murder of her husband in a mountaineering accident. She stands to gain five million yen from his life insurance—that is, if she is cleared of the charge. Did Ayako cut the rope to get rid of her husband or this was her only way to survive? Is this young man who was with them at the time really her lover?Tied to a mountain between her spouse and her secret lover, disaster strikes. To prevent all three from their deaths, the woman is forced to choose between cutting her husband’s rope or that of her lover. Masumura masterfully moves through the ambiguity of human behaviour , along the thin line that separates rational justification from subconscious motivation. Ayako Wakao, portrayed simultaneously a sympathetic victim and one of the most sophisticated femme fatales ever in cinema.