powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
Maisie Ravier is en route to a singing job at the Hula Parlor Cafe when her car breaks down near an Arizona ghost town at the edge of Bill Anders' ranch. She seeks refuge at the ranch, and there she meets the misanthropic Bill, who makes a pass at her. After locking Bill out of her room, Maisie indignantly leaves the ranch the next morning and hitchhikes into town. Arriving to find that her job has already been filled, Maisie visits a local diner, where she hears of a gold rush at the ghost town and meets little Jubie Davis. After finishing her dinner, Maisie starts her long trek to Phoenix, and is offered a ride by the Davis family, a pitiful bunch of dispossessed dustbowl farmers who have been lured to Arizona by the promise of gold. Touched by their plight, Maisie spends her last dollar on groceries to feed the hungry children. When the Davis car rolls into town, they find the previously abandoned town filled with poverty-stricken farmers who are being exploited by profit seekers, prompting Maisie to insist that they drive on to Bill's ranch where they can find free water. After bullying Bill into letting the family pitch their tent on his land, Maisie agrees to go into partnership with family head Bert Davis. After days of digging, the partners uncover a promising vein of gold, but must await the assayer's report to ascertain the value of their claim. That night, a violent storm destroys the Davis' tent, and Maisie leads them to shelter inside Bill's house. As the family sleeps, Maisie convinces Bill to abandon his misanthropic ways and begin to trust people. The next morning, the farmers' hopes are crushed when the assayer pronounces that the ore is not worth the cost of mining. As the farmers prepare to return to the road as migrant workers, Maisie explains to Bill that they had turned to prospecting in desperation, as a way to feed their families rather than find their fortunes. Taking Maisie's words to heart, Bill offers his water to irrigate the valley, and as the farmers begin life anew as homesteaders, Maisie strikes out on her own.