When he's discharged from a military hospital, ex-GI Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae) goes on a search for his army buddy Steve Connolly (Edmond O'Brien). A reformed crook, Connolly is on the lam from a trumped-up murder rap, and Corey hopes to clear his pal. Tagging along is Army nurse Julie Benson (Virginia Mayo), who has fallen for Corey. The rest of the film emulates the 1946 noir exercise The Killers, with Julie and Corey interviewing various people with whom Connolly has come in contact. One of those people, of course, is the actual killer, who now adds the GI and the nurse to the "hit list." Warner Bros. used Backfire to test the dramatic potential of singing star Gordon MacRae, who passes that test with flying colors.
by Hal Erickson synopsis