A family of Oregonian loggers, led by patriarch Henry (Hnery Fonda), live and work by the family motto 'never give an inch.' When the townspeople go on strike, the determined Stamper family refuse to join in, and continue logging. When Henry is incapacitated by a broken arm it is left to his son Hank (Paul Newman) to take charge and pull the family together. Whilst Hank is distracted by the family's struggle to meet their targets, his bored wife Viv (Lee Remick), is reconnecting with the errant Leland (Michael Sarrazin), Hank's brother who has suddenly reappeared after leaving the town ten years before. When sabotage by the townspeople destroys vital logging equipment, Henry turns to increasingly desperate methods, and events threaten to build to an explosive climax.