Cast & Crew
Eben Martin spends his lifetime accumulating wheat farms in hopes that his sons Chris and Walt will take over the family business and work the land. Chris is more interested in finance, however, and leaves the farm and his fiancée Ellen. He moves to Chicago and uses his cunning and knowledge of wheat to make his fortune at the Board of Trade in the "wheat pit." Chris becomes highly influential with the help of wealthy Henry Flint, and courts Henry's society-bored daughter Cynthia. Back at the farm, Ellen and Walt marry, have children and struggle to maintain the farm and pay the family debts. Walt becomes active in unionizing farmers across the nation. Chris visits the farm with Cynthia to attend the wedding of the Martin's beloved hired hands, Loopey Lou and Lydia. Although Chris is embarrassed by his humble family, Cynthia is touched by their genuine warmth and later accepts his marriage proposal. With the arrival of winter, the poverty-stricken farmers suffer greatly, as banks foreclose on properties such as Loopey Lou's. Walt travels to Chicago, just missing Chris's wedding, but the brothers form an agreement to help each other, in which Walt will call the farmers to strike, and Chris will help raise the wheat prices. The strike is somewhat successful and Walt urges the farmers to remain steadfast. The planting season proves too tempting, though, and the farmers break the strike before getting a good price for the wheat. Despite intense pressure and the threat of losing everything, Chris buys up wheat, maintaining his position until he is insolvent. His spirits remain high with the help of his loving wife, whose father makes Chris a partner in his company. In Washington D.C., Walt influences the government to raise farm prices, and the Martin brothers are hailed as national heroes.
Hollywood Reporter news items noted that Genevieve Tobin replaced Marguerite Churchill, due to Churchill's prior commitment to a Broadway play. In addition, assistant director Raoul Pagel and recording engineer Joseph Kane took a crew to film scenes of the Chicago Board of Trade "wheat pit" and the Chicago World's Fair. Some scenes were also filmed on location in Oregon. In the film's pressbook, the ending of the story is described as follows: After Chris is declared insolvent, he "tells Cynthia that he knows now that he is at heart a farmer and that he is going back to the soil. He returns to the farm in a plane, finds Cynthia has come with him, still in love with the real man she married, willing to stay with him in his new efforts to rebuild the farm with his father and brother." This conclusion differs markedly from the ending of the released film, focusing more on the inner struggle Chris has with his heritage.