A sheriff and his prisoner become stranded in the desert along with an older couple when their airplane crashes. As emotions, loyalties and revelations of the human spirit are brought into the forefront in an increasingly desperate situation, the sheriff realizes he is detaining an innocent man.
A young woman (Jean Simmons) manages a remote California sheep ranch with her father (Brian Aherne). A plane carrying a sheriff (Stephen McNally) and a man indicted for manslaughter (Rory Calhoun) crashes nearby. Both men are cared for by the girl, who doesn't know at first which is the cop and which is the criminal. She falls in love with the convicted man and believes protestations of innocence, but the vindictive sheriff tries to dissuade her of these feelings. Given several chances to finish each other off, both sheriff and convict relent. Under the influence of the girl, they agree to return to Utah together, where (it is implied) the criminal will be given a bias-free trial.
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