The three of them would have never met except for the whims, superstitions of a vengeful, possibly deranged woman. The woman is Crystal Shackelford(Geraldine Fitzgerald) and she picks up two men randomly, seperately, on Chinese New Year, and convinces them to go along with her plam.
Peter Lorre is Johnny West, a small time hood and drunk, and Sydney Greenstreet is Jerome K. Arbutny. a lawyer.
Mrs. Shackelford has a bronze idol of Kwan Yin and the legend is on midnight of Chinese New Year, her eyes will open and bestow a grant on three strangers. The three must remain strangers until after midnight. Johnny has a lottery ticket he bought for ten shillings and the three agree to split cost and benefits and any winnings to go the big race. All sign without the other seeing the names.
Midnight comes, the lights are blown out, and the lady swears she saw the eyes open just before that. The three go their separate ways.
All are soon beset by problems.
Mrs. Shackelford wants her husband back, always when she doesn’t have him, but he’s found a new love in Canada and wants a divorce. Johnny West is roped into a murder conviction by a lying man and doesn’t defend himself. “What point? No one will believe me.” He’s scheduled to hang.. Arbutny is about to be ruined, He has been in charge of a rich widow’s estate and invested in some bad stocks. An auditor is about to go over the books.
The lottery ticket wins of course, but the race is yet to come.
Only one of the three comes out of it okay.
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