Constable Ross, a police constable on his first day of duty, and the cynical Sergeant Simmonds are drawn into a domestic dispute when two women come in to report a wife-beater. The officers arrange for a furniture removalist to come and take furniture from the flat of the woman's belligerent husband, and attend the removal themselves. The tension escalates when the husband, Kenny, knocks the removalist down and is subsequently beaten up by the police. The violence escalates as Kenny, who is handcuffed, is repeatedly assaulted while the others watch. It ends only when Constable Ross believes he has killed Kenny. The two policemen argue about the dire consequences, but Kenny regains consciousness and gets up.
Based on David Williamson's play (first staged at La Mama Theatre, Melbourne in 1971), the screenplay (including dialogue) closely follows the structure of the original story. The narrative is also set in the same two locations: a police station and a small flat.