During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. Pilot Francis Gary Powers after capturing down his U-2 undercover agent plane. Sentenced to ten years in prison, Powers' handiest wish is New York lawyer James Donovan, recruited by using a CIA operative to negotiate his release. Donovan forums a aircraft to Berlin, hoping to win the younger man's freedom thru a prisoner alternate. If all goes properly, the Russians could get Rudolf Abel, the convicted secret agent who Donovan defended in court.