It is the end of the 18th Century and smuggling is considered to be a legitimate spare-time occupation for most fishermen around the British shores. But when a gang of cut-throats, led by the infamous Black John (Bernard Lee) begins to lure ships onto the rocks of Smugglers Bay, and murdering their crews for the sake of loot, the fishermen begin to fear for their livelihoods. In desperation, they appeal to the local magistrate Squire Trevenyan (Peter Cushing). The battle for livelihood and honour that ensues will leave many casualties in its wake. Amidst the chaos and bloodshed, love blossoms but can it survive the tumultuous events of Smugglers Bay?