Cattle baron Matt Devereaux (Spencer Tracy) rules his vast empire with a ruthless hand. Matt's greatest love is for his Indian wife, Princess (Katy Jurado) and their son Joe (Robert Wagner). Matt's three sons from a previous marriage deeply resent them. When Devereaux illegally raids a copper mine that has been polluting his water, it leads to trouble for his youngest son. Joe takes the rap for his father's crime and is sent to jail. When Joe emerges from prison he finds that his world has changed; his rebellious step-brothers have driven his mother away and destroyed their father's cattle empire.