This meandering film version of Edna Ferber's sprawling novel set in Alaska begins at the end of WW I and recounts Alaskan history up to the time it was made a state. The film focuses on Burton, the wealthy owner of a canning operation, and Ryan, owner of a fishing boat. The two men are
friends, though Ryan is not fond of Burton's careless attitudes toward the land and its natives. In his pursuit of wealth, Burton marries heiress Hyer, then comes between Ryan and his fiance, Jones. Ryan loses Jones and marries an Eskimo, but he and Burton are now sworn enemies. Years later,
Burton's daughter marries Ryan's son. They have a baby girl then are killed in an accident. ...