Robert Altman directs this adaptation of Sam Shepard's play, taking the characters off the stage and placing them deep in barren New Mexico. Shepard himself stars as Eddie, an enigmatic cowboy drifter who returns to the seedy El Royale Motel in the hope of resuming his romance with the love of his life, May (Kim Basinger), a waitress who works in the bar. Since Eddie's departure, May has taken up with a new boyfriend, Martin (Randy Quaid) - a turn of events Eddie had not been planning for. Over the course of one night, Eddie and May argue and talk incessantly, fighting and making love with equal fervour, until the dark truth at the heart of their tumultuous relationship is gradually revealed. Only a derelict, alcoholic old man (Harry Dean Stanton) knows the secret that could destroy Eddie and May's love forever.