A reformed Gunfighter Jimmy Ringo (Gregory Peck) is on his way to a sleepy town in the hope of a reunion with his estranged sweetheart (Helen Westcott) and their young son (B.G. Morgan) who he has never seen. On arrival, a chance meeting with some old friends including the town's Marshal (Millard Mitchell) gives the repentant Jimmy some respite. But as always Jimmy's reputation has already cast its shadow, this time in the form of three vengeful cowboys hot on his trail and a local gunslinger hoping to use Jimmy to make a name for himself. With a showdown looming, the town is soon in a frenzy as news of Jimmy's arrival spreads. His movements are restricted to the saloon while a secret meeting with his son can be arranged giving him ideas of a long-term reunion with his family far removed from his wild past.