When Michael McGuire (Finlay Currie) does not return from a trip as expected, his daughter Dell (Maureen O'Hara) becomes frantic. She pays a visit to the local trooper (Chips Rafferty) who reassures to wait a little longer. It seems Michael has done this before and usually comes home after a good binge. However, this time Dell's uneasy feelings are right on track as her father just so happens to bump into a couple of lowlife conmen while sleeping off a drunk in a hostel.
Michael who is supposed to be away on business selling cattle is actually trying to drink away his sadness caused by the desertion of his son Dennis. In his stupor he comes across Richard Connor (Peter Lawford) who fits the picture of his long lost son. As old Mr. McGuire lays in a drunken daze, Gamble and Connor are hatching a plan to rob the owner of a gambling parlor. The robbery goes awry and the owner ends up shot. Realizing that they have to get out of town fast, Richard and his partner, John W. Gamble (Richard Boone) come up with a plan to make old Michael believe that he has sold them the cattle. They realize they may be able to get more out of the old man by Richard pretending to be Dennis. They enact their plan by dragging Michael aboard ship to head back to Australia.
Michael is somewhat fooled into thinking that Richard actually is Dennis and takes the two in. When they arrive in Australia they have a big surprise coming. It seems there has been a devastating drought going on for sometime. The family herd of cattle is at serious risk and will surely die if they are not soon brought home to water. With Michael's drinking, many of the farmhands have lost faith in the old man and have quit their positions. The old Mr. McGuire has lost hope himself. That is until Richard aka Dennis gives him inspiration to rally the workers for a roundup. Meanwhile, Dell has no idea what Pop is thinking and begins to become a bit fond of the misleading Richard. He too has noticed Dell and tries to avoid his true feelings. The nasty Mr. Gamble senses what is happening and does everything he can to keep the two apart. A little more heat is added to the situation when Trooper Leonard shows up at the ranch. He has caught Matt, a former worker butchering a cow that had died from thirst. He brings Matt in to face the music and to confess his deed to Dell. She refuses punishment instead giving him a job once again. The paranoid Gamble believe that Matt is a plant for the trooper and decides to do his best to remove him permanently from the picture.
Michael gives up the drink and calls back the ranch hands to prepare for the arduous journey ahead. John W. sees his evil opportunity to do away with Matt as he is paired up with him. John's plan is once again shut down as his horse bolts and he is thrown. Having a criminal's luck, he is bitten by a poisonous snake and Matt saves his life. But not before Matt notices scars from leg irons. John tells him he will kill him if he ever spouts a word. Matt promises but John's paranoia is still increased.
They finally reach the cattle who are in bad shape. They are all milling about in a dry hole that used to be a pond. There is grave concern as to how many will make it back. The group insists on saving as many as they can so they head out without delay. Just when you think things can't get worse, a freak accident causes a raging wildfire. The cattle are horrified and begin to stampede away from the fire. Once they are under control it is apparent that many more have been lost. The ranchers resume their journey home are thankfully nearing the water troughs when they are met by seriously thirsty aborigines. The generous Mr. McGuire allows them to drink first and is rewarded with an aboriginal rain dance.
Instead of getting the much needed rain, a wicked dust storm blows in. It wreaks havoc all around the ranch coating everything is a thick dust. It also threatens the windmill which is the only source of water. As the wind continues to blow the windmill begins breaking apart. Feeling heroic, John climbs to the top in an effort to restore the rope holding it together. It becomes necessary for Richard to join him when John is knocked silly by one of the blades. Dell is obviously overjoyed as Richard becomes the hero by saving both the windmill and his friend John. His favor is short lived as the trooper returns with information that confirmed his own suspicions about the two. Quickly fleeing the scene, a chase ensues and someone does not end up coming home.
The review of this Movie prepared by Talea