'Ryan has shrugged off a recent series of threatening crack calls. One night, emerging from a building, he is met by a hail of bullets from a passing car. Two passers-by are hit - a woman who is killed instantly, and her small son, who is rushed to hospital.
'Julie King, Ryan's secretary, witnesses the event, and is sickened and shattered by the raw danger associated with Ryan's life-style.
'Ryan, driven by a clawing conscience and an obsessive commitment to revenge, works around the clock to track down the killer. His "Nut File" provides him with a list of suspects - a detailed catalogue of psychopaths and criminals who have "sworn to get him." Relentlessly, he checks them out. Each confrontation has its own flash-point, and the trail eventually leads to Mr. Ward - the monolithic crime Czar who must surely know the answer.
'Meanwhile, Julie King has her own crisis to resolve. Her outraged parents have demanded that she leave Ryan's employ - remove herself from what they consider an atmosphere of sordid violence. Julie feels a strong emotional commitment to Ryan, but has, herself, been alarmed by recent events.'
Source: Synopsis held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection (RMIT).
The script held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection contains the following character notes (excluding regular characters):
'DR. GORDON KING: Early fifties. Julie's father. Conservative, paternal; seemingly hard exterior which softens to genuine and real concern that his daughter had experienced such a horrible tragedy.
'ELAINE KING: Late 40's. Good-looking in a rather genteel way. She has shared her husband's fears and has become over-protective. She infringes on Julie's privacy believing Julie's motive for staying with Ryan is primarily romantic. She is deeply hurt by the gap growing between herself and Julie.
'THEODORE WARD: Early fifties. Controlling figure of the underworld. Huge, neat man with a disturbing aura of ruthlessness surrounding him. He is "The Boss", ruling the underworld with an iron fist. A man with his own rather strange code of ethics regarding who can be murdered and who can't. Sticklet [sic] for professionalism.
'COLIN BROWN: Mid-late thirties, attractive to women. When we first meet him, Brown appears kind, sincere, shattered by the horrible deaths of his wife and son. We later learn this is not the full story. Should drive.
'HELEN: 20's. Beautiful young girl. Devoted to Brown. The unconscious cause of the Brown tragedy.
'MRS. BROWN: Homely, maternal type who could not compete with Brown's younger women. Finally left to live alone with her son. Mid thirties. Few lines but her image and impact is important to story.
'BARRY BROWN: Ordinary boy, 8 - 10 years. Few lines.
'DR. LEO HUGHES: 40's. A rather unbalanced bogus hypnotherapist who has an obsessive hatred for Ryan, unpleasant, unwholesome individual.
'JOE "THE FINGER": Small time crim, with small time ideas. His hate for Ryan is like a drug he feeds upon. The typical crim turned fizz with a record "as long as your arm". Early thirties.
'THE KILLER: Impassive ruthless face, rather foreign looking. Balding - which he disguises with a beret. A professional killer. Must drive. No lines.
'CLUB MANAGER: 35-45. Manages a seedy Nightclub. Tall, no-nonsense. One scene.
'MAX / JERRY (WARD'S HENCHMEN): Both early 30's. Max must drive. Both hard, tough, powerful. Frightened of Ward but nobody else. Both would kill without hesitation at Ward's direction. Act as Ward's bodyguard servants.
'TURNER: Late 30's. Dangerous crim. No lines. Gets killed.
'MAN 1: Chinese. Thirtyish. No lines. One Montage scene.
'MAN 2: Heavy set, probably wharf labourer, bad tempered. No lines. One Montage scene.
'WOMAN: No lines. Late 40's. Typical housewife in lower class part of town. One Montage scene.
'DOCTOR: Professional, doesn't give too much away, but is obviously deeply worried about the boy. It shows on his face. Late 40's.
'UNIFORMED POLICEMAN: That type. No lines.'