A perverse western from Robert Aldrich that's rooted more in Greek tragedy than in genre expectations. Douglas is a fugitive wanted by lawman Hudson for the murder of Hudson's brother-in-law. Douglas, on the run, stops to see Malone, a flame from 16 years ago who is now married to Cotten
and the mother of 16-year-old Lynley. Douglas takes the job of driving Cotten's herd to Texas, but he is quickly found by Hudson. However, instead of taking the fugitive back to Texas, Hudson decides to help with the herd, considering he is going that direction anyway. Along the way Hudson falls
in love with Malone, Cotten is killed in a barroom brawl, and Douglas becomes attracted...