In 1930s South America, bandits led by El Gavilan (Juan Garcia) destroy the wildcat oil well owned by Jeff Dawson (Gary Cooper) and his partner, Dutch Peterson (Ward Bond). The two desperate men accept a dangerous job of transporting nitroglycerin, but are swindled out of their payment. Broke and nowhere else to turn, Dawson and Peterson are hired by their old friend, Ward 'Paco' Conway (Anthony Quinn), now an oil baron and married to Dawson's ex-love Marina (Barbara Stanwyck). The bandits threatens to dynamite Paco's eighteen wells unless he pays them a bounty of $50,000 as the predatory Marina still in love with Dawson will stop at nothing to get back the only man she ever loved. Ruth Roman also stars and adds to the romantic entanglement.