Howard W. Campbell Jr. (Nick Nolte) is an American playwright living in pre-World War II Berlin. He is happily married to his lovely wife Helga (Sheryl Lee), and is acclaimed for his work, which gains him entree into Berlin's highest… More Howard W. Campbell Jr. (Nick Nolte) is an American playwright living in pre-World War II Berlin. He is happily married to his lovely wife Helga (Sheryl Lee), and is acclaimed for his work, which gains him entree into Berlin's highest political and social circles. Then one day he's approached by Frank Wirtenan (John Goodman), an American intelligence agent who offers Campbell the opportunity to spy for his country. Campbell refuses. He wonders why he was asked. "You're obsessed with the notion of pure hearts and heroism. You love good and you hate evil ...and you'd sacrifice anything in the name of romance," Wirtenan tells him. So Campbell agrees. He seamlessly infiltrates the Nazis and gets a job spewing hateful Nazi propaganda on a weekly radio show beamed across Europe. He barely survives the war, his wife supposedly doesn't, and finds himself living in New York City, penniless and befriended by a next-door neighbor, a painter and fellow widower (Alan Arkin). He might have lived quietly beyond that, but gets found by a ragged group of American neo-Nazis -- and, incredibly, his wife. The neo-Nazis publicize his presence and he learns that his neighbor is actually a spy and that his wife is really her little sister. Guilt-stricken and alone, Campbell turns himself in to the Israelis, who charge him with being a war criminal. He's about to go on trial in Israel when he receives a letter from Wirteman promising to reveal his heroic spying and exonerate him, but Campbell hangs himself in his cell.