The subject matter to this Victor Fleming-directed drama is typically virile -- it takes place in Sacramento during the Gold Rush days of 1849. And the star who stands out the most is also the most manly: big Wallace Beery. John Joyce (William Collier Jr.) arrives in Sacramento with his sister, Martha (Claire Adams), and aunt to become the editor of a newspaper. He is determined to clear the town of the low-down mining camp types who are flaunting their freewheeling ways. When Joyce meets Faro Sampson (Pauline Starke), he falls in love, believing that she is the daughter of a minister. Actually she's the daughter of the man who runs a gambling den, "Square Deal" Sampson (Emmett C. King). Joyce tries to forget her, but he can't. Soon the same vigilante committee he has aligned himself with finds him in a compromising position with her. Joyce, Faro, and the other "undesirables" are forced onto a river boat. Ben, a fireman (Beery), takes over command, but when he tries to attack Martha, Joyce springs into action. Ben is vanquished and demoted to peeling potatoes on the ship that rescues everyone. Joyce and Faro, meanwhile, reaffirm their love for each other.
by Janiss Garza synopsis