Husband and wife Americans Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Helen Ferguson - he a renowned neurosurgeon - are traveling through Latin America for a vacation. When they make the decision to return to New York earlier than expected, they find they are being detained by the military in the country they are in. Ultimately, they learn the reason is that President Raoul Farrago, the tyrannical military dictator of the country, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will die without an operation to remove it, Farrago choosing Gene as the doctor to lead the surgical team. Because of the volatile politics within the country and for his own safety as revolutionary forces would like to see him dead, Farrago refuses to go to a hospital for the operation, instead it to be done at his home. Despite not particularly liking Farrago or his ways, Gene agrees purely in his oath as a doctor. However, he ends up being caught in the middle between Farrago/his brutal regime and the revolutionaries, each side who is willing to use him and Helen to get what they want, namely the life or death of Farrago.