40-year-old Arnold Gardner is put in charge of the talk show "The Twenty-fifth Hour" after the death of the former host Duncan Mackay. His role on screen creates immediate interest and the program becomes a great success with TV audiences. This proves to be a period of great satisfaction for Arnold, but his childhood friend, Eddie Greenberg, suddenly comes on the scene. Eddie is ill and frustrated by lack of success, and is so resentful and envious of Arnold's fame that he wants him to make a full public confession of a "sin" he committed in his young days. Arnold does all he can to defend himself from his friend's blackmail, but Eddie is so determined to have his "pound of flesh" that he kills a series of people to show just how serious he is, thus forcing Arnold to reveal his secret on television.