Joe Cardos, a death row inmate in some unidentified country, is to face the gallows in the morning for strangling three women. Filled with bitterness at the world, and perhaps himself, Joe lashes out at the warden and guards' attempts at making his final hours a little easier, and refuses to see either his sister or the prison chaplain. However, Joe does change his mind about being granted a last request, one the prison is obligated by law to fulfill: He asks for a woman's company so he can have some "fun" in the time that's left. After asking around, two police detectives show up at the prison with a down-on-her-luck former "waitress" named Dora, who earlier that night had tried to drown herself. Dora, totally broke and feeling she has nothing to lose, has agreed to spend the night with Joe in his cell. As she sees it, the money she's being offered should be enough for "a decent funeral."