What makes this film so daring is that it was filmed and released just after the United States entered the Second World War, and Japanese-Americans were being interred in detention camps, even as their sons were fighting in our armed forces for freedom.
When Gil Carter, played by Henry Fonda, rides into a town plagued by cattle rustling, he and his sidekick Art Croft, played by Harry (Henry) Morgan, become caught up in a lynching of 3 rustlers suspected of murder the town’s most popular resident. The Sheriff is out of town and the Judge is too timid to control the mob. Only Gil and Art, along with the son of the local Militia’s Major, and an old Negro man, are willing to question the execution without trial. The evidence is circumstantial at best, but the dead man must be avenged at all costs.