Aldrich's film is in some senses an attempt to transpose to the Western genre the elements of Sirkian melodrama - same studio, similar casting, and a plot about sexual neurosis. Kirk Douglas is an unstable gunfighter who has murdered Sheriff Hudson's brother-in-law and wants to revive his own love for his ex-wife (Malone). At the same time, Douglas' daughter (Lynley) falls in love with her estranged father, and Malone falls in love with Hudson. Those tensions are resolved during a cattle drive from Mexico to Texas. The movie is more lyrical than Aldrich's usual macho posturings, and Dalton Trumbo's script is abrim with classical allusions.