L.G. Floran (Burt Reynolds) is released from prison after serving six years for manslaughter -- convicted of killing his own brother in a drunk driving incident in which he always denied being involved. He returns to his home, in the California wine country, hoping to put his life back together, but that won't be easy -- in the interim, his mother has died, but his hostile stepfather Keller Floran (Mevlyn Douglas) won't let him get anywhere near any inheritance he might have coming, or the home he grew up in. And the local law, led by police chief Wade Hamilton (Martin Balsam), is mostly arrayed against him, especially when Hamilton realizes that his married daughter Barbara (Suzanne Pleshette) is still attracted to L.G. Most of the town is convinced that L.G. got off too easy for killing his brother, and wouldn't mind someone evening the score -- add to that the presence of a bored (and randy) 17-year-old Holly Farnell (Jill Bennett), who is attracted to L.G.'s rebel, outcast persona; and Rudy LeRoy (Larry Storch), a nightclub owner whose testimony helped convict L.G. (and who has his thugs beat him up), and the stage is set for an explosive mix of violence and retribution that will touch almost everyone in L.G.'s hometown.