After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand is raised by the Callum family on their nearby horse ranch. He remains haunted by this childhood trauma in a recurring nightmare of flashing spurs and confinement inside a trap door as his family is slaughtered. Widow Callum does her best to make Jeb feel loved as he is growing up, but the young man stubbornly maintains a sense of his own identity. While he has great affection for his foster-sister Thor, his relationship with her brother Adam is tenuous at best, especially when Jeb blames him for shooting a colt that he was riding. Although Mrs. Callum blames the incident on deer hunters, she is aware that the it was actually the attempted murder of the youngster by her brother-in-law Grant, a shadowy figure who, for vague reasons, is determined to harm Jeb. Jeb loses a coin flip with Adam, and becomes the designated family volunteer to fight in the Spanish-American War. Jeb returns a hero, but does not find happiness. ... Written by
Robert Mitchum fights for the love of three people who want to see him dead...his family.
Did You Know?
After Adam is shot, a dummy is used to show his body rolling down the hill. The incline is not great and a stuntman could easily have been used, so the obvious dummy is a jarring note. See more
One day I rode up in the butte country...
[Approaching the burned out shell of a cabin
Came straight to this place just like I'd known the way. There was something in my life that ruined that house. That house was myself.
[Entering the charred remains
I'd seen it a million times before... the fireplace... the trap door...
[Walking outside again
Out back there was some cattle bones. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe, and then as I walked around the side, I came upon some unmarked ...
Referenced in Once Upon a Time in the West
The Girl I Left Behind Me
Irish folk song
Played by band during army recruitment See more