A to-the-point adaptation of an overly cerebral stage play by Ralph Berkey, Time Limit was the only film directed by character actor Karl Malden. The story involves a US army major (Richard Basehart), on trial for collaborating with the enemy during his imprisonment in North Korea.
The case seems open and shut; not only are 14 former POWS willing to testify for the prosecution, but the major himself admits his guilt. Army investigator attorney Richard Widmark suspects there's more to the story than anyone is letting on.
Conducting a private probe, Widmark discovers that Basehart had agreed to cooperate with the enemy to keep his men from being executed--but only after another American soldier, whose name Basehart wishes to protect, had revealed the POW's escape plans while under torture.