When Oklahoma's Cherokee Strip opens for settlers in 1893, a payment is sent to the Native Americans. Whip McCord (Humphrey Bogart) steals the money, but Jim Kincaid (James Cagney), known as the Oklahoma Kid, steals it back. Jim's father, John (Hugh Sothern), disapproves of his son's vigilante actions. McCord takes over the town, turning it into a lawless zone. When John runs for mayor to try to civilize the town, McCord frames him for murder. Jim must rescue his estranged father from lynching.