Italian archer Dardo Bartoli (Burt Lancaster) is waging a war against the Hessians. His grudge against their leader, Count "The Hawk" Ulrich (Frank Allenby), is more than simply political. Long ago, he took away Dardo's beautiful wife, Francesca. Then, under his former spouse's orders, Ulrich returned to steal the couple's son, Rudi. Incensed, Dardo kidnaps Ulrich's comely niece, Anne (Virginia Mayo), and slowly emerges as a rebel leader who may be able to drive out the Hessians for good.