George Martin (Jack Warner) and Willie Stannard (George Cole) are handcuffed together and on their way to a West Country jail when they escape and go on the run. Martin is a hardened, dangerous criminal, but Stannard is a simple-minded youth who claims he is innocent of the crime for which he is awaiting trial. As they go on the run handcuffed together Martin steals a corporal s uniform and pretends that Stannard is a deserter in his charge. Desperate to unshackle himself from the simple-minded youth, Martin finds a hacksaw in a deserted cottage but they are surprised by a huntsman. In the ensuing struggle Martin murders the huntsman and the search for escaped prisoners becomes a manhunt for a murderer..