When Sen. William J. Tadlock (Kirk Douglas) quits politics to create a utopia out West in 1843, he hires seasoned scout Dick Summers (Robert Mitchum) to lead the wagon train, but Tadlock's dictatorial attitude soon causes dissent among the settlers. Things only get worse after one of them accidentally kills a young Indian. Richard Widmark and Lola Albright also star, along with Sally Field, who plays a tart in her big-screen debut.

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