T.C. Jeffords (Walter Huston) rules his sprawling New Mexico ranch with an iron fist. But his authority doesn't extend to his strong-willed daughter, Vance (Barbara Stanwyck), who both hates and loves her father with equal ferocity. Tensions rise when Vance falls for bad boy Rip Darrow (Wendell Corey), whom T.C. buys off. But the family conflict turns violent when T.C. decides to marry Flo Burnett (Judith Anderson) -- and evict Vance's childhood friend Juan (Gilbert Roland) from his land.