The story takes place in Skull Creek, a 1870s Montana gold camp. Dr. Joseph Frail arrives, setting out his shingle near the camp's boom-or-bust hubbub of adventurers, ladies of fortune, mountain men and just plain decent folks. As skilled with a six-gun as with a scalpel, Frail will need both.
Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay meet on an ocean liner and fall deeply in love. Though each is engaged to someone else, they agree to meet six months later at the Empire State Building if they still feel the same way about each other. But a tragic accident prevents their rendezvous, and the lovers' future takes an emotional and uncertain turn.
In this beautifully shot and acted, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw, played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford, to the train that will take him to prison. This apparently simple plan turns into a nerve-racking cat-and-mouse game that will test each man's particular brand of honor.
In this Shakespearean tale of jealousy and betrayal, a man who is an honorable itinerant cattleman, befriended and hired by a bighearted ranch owner despite his unwillingness to talk about his past. When the new hand becomes the target of the flirtatious attentions of the owner's bored wife and is entrusted by the boss with a foreman's responsibilities, his presence at the ranch starts to rankle his shifty fellow cowhand.