Young Andy Stannard (Bobby Clark) is the son of Dave Stannard (Glenn Ford) , a wealthy executive, and his wife Edith (Donna Reed). One day, Edith and Dave feel that each has miscommunicated with the other about the whereabouts of their son. The principal of Andy's school telephones and informs Edith that Andy was picked up by a nurse and taken to Dr. Gorman's office for treatment of a viral infection. However, when Dave phones Dr. Gorman, he finds out that Andy has not been at his office at all that day. Realizing that their son has been kidnapped, the Stannards call the police. The chief of police Jim Backett (Robert Keith) organizes a search for young Andy. He directs the installation of traces on the four telephone lines into the house, and he has a dummy line created for all outgoing calls, in order to keep the main number free. Together, they are waiting for the kidnappers to call with a ransom demand when newspaper reporter Charlie Telfer (Leslie Nielsen) slips into the house to observe the goings on. Backett attempts to throw him out, but Telfer, who is a friend of Backett's, manages to stick around for the kidnapper's phone call. When the principal of Andy's school arrives and demands not to be held responsible for Andy's abduction, Edith attacks her with a fire poker. Dr. Gorman sedates Edith, and she sleeps upstairs through most of the events of the film. When the kidnapper finally calls, he demands $500,000. The Stannards are to signal their cooperation by having a popular TV host wear a white jacket on the next evening's broadcast. The police trace the phone call to a phone booth and arrive in time to find the kidnapper's cigarette still burning.