In 1900, lumberman Jim Fallon (Kirk Douglas) greedily eyes the big trees in the virgin region of northern California. The land is already settled by, among others, a religious group led by Elder Bixby (Charles Meredith). Jim is attracted to Bixby’s daughter, Alicia (Eve Miller), though that does not change his plan to cheat the homesteaders.
Martha Ivers tried to get away from her aunt. She and her friend Sam were caught by the police and returns. When Mrs. Ivers attacks Martha’s pet cat with her cane; Martha intervenes and accidentally kills her aunt. After this, the movie is a great film noir full of blackmail and intrigue..