Lifted from the channeled spy category by its superimposition of ethics and humanity, this pits young, newly arrived American counterespionage Johnny Phillips against a Captain bucking for promotion in proving young Therese Bouliard to be a German hireling. In his first interrogation Phillips is persuaded of Therese's innocence and her desire to protect her dead -- and patriotically derelict -- father; Captain Weiller demands further investigation and rigs the evidence to achieve his necessary aims. Phillips, cued to duplicity, lies and protestations of non-collaboration, is slowly destroyed by Therese's amplifications of her original story. He continues to hold to the hope that she is the girl in whom he believes; but -- with her final -- and despairing admission-is hardened into the operative that Weiller had hoped to get. Cherbourg in 1944 and the demands of military security are a constant that holds this on its course when argument, philosophy, suspicion and concepts divert it.