Coal miner's daughter Josie Winters (Marlene Dietrich) has two beaus competing for her affection: Cash Evans (Randolph Scott) and Pittsburgh (John Wayne). Both men work in the coal mine, but are encouraged by Josie to better their lot in life. Pitt becomes wealthy as a steel producer, but when Josie chooses him over Cash he spurns her in order to marry for power. Josie turns to Cash, who himself builds a successful business just as Pitt's empire begins to crumble - and all this on the eve of WWII. The rivalry between the two men looks set to continue, but will the outbreak of war put things in a new perspective?