Adapted from Charles L. Clifford's novel, a doctor and American officers help Filipinos fight off disease and attacking Moros.
In 1906 Col. Hatch (Roy Gordon) complains when he is ordered to withdraw troops from the Philippines despite the Moro attacks. Padre Rafael tells Col. Hatch the men will be killed. Dr. Bill Canavan (Gary Cooper) arrives and is greeted by Lt. Larson (Broderick Crawford) and Lt. Terence McCool (David Niven). A fanatical Moro attacks Captain Steve Hartley (Reginald Owen) with a sword, but Bill shoots him until he dies. Captain Manning orders them not to go into the jungle until Captain Hartley trains them. Bill lets troops go without shoes, but Hartley complains. A Moro spears a sentry and takes his rifle to Alipang (Tetsu Komai). Hartley's daughter Linda (Andrea Leeds) arrives with Manning's wife (Kay Johnson). At the dance Larson gives Linda an orchid, and Bill dances with Linda, who likes the army. Manning asks Datu (Vladimir Sokoloff) where he can buy pearls, and a Moro kills him with a sword. Bill and McCool grab the Moro, and Datu shoots him as Manning's wife screams and cries. Hartley orders the Moros in the village arrested. Bill says the men are sick with fear, but Hartley orders them released. Rafael tells Bill the Moros fear pigskins. Bill and his Moro boy Miguel (Benny Inocencio) go into the jungle, and on a footbridge they capture a Moro. Hartley reminds Linda to pack. Bill brings in the Moro and shows the men he is afraid of a pigskin. Hartley reprimands Bill. Linda tells her father she won't go.
The river goes down and dries up. Bill vaccinates Linda. Lt. Yabo (Rudy Robles) and his men tell Bill they are ready to fight; but Hartley refuses and arrests Bill. Later Hartley tells Bill to treat people, and Bill says it is cholera. Bill orders water boiled and all food cooked. He tells Hartley the dam must be dynamited to get running water. Linda offers to help, and Bill has her disinfect people's dishes. Larson takes Miguel to dynamite the dam. McCool falls sick, and tired Linda falls asleep. Hartley tells Bill he is going blind. Datu asks Hartley for men. Sick Miguel tells Bill that Larson was killed. Bill tells McCool to take over. Datu guides men led by Hartley, and Bill goes alone. Bill finds Larson buried up to his neck beneath a white orchid. Bill stops Datu and his spies before Hartley is ambushed. Bill takes dynamite and pushes Datu into a booby trap. Bill blows up the dam, and water flows; people cheer the river. Hartley orders rafts built, as the village is attacked by Moros. McCool uses a machine gun. Bill tells Yabo to help Hartley. Alipang shoots prisoners to learn where the guns are, and he catapults Moros into the fort. McCool is shot and dies. Linda gives orders. Bill arrives on the first raft and takes charge. Bill throws dynamite. Yabo leads men with rifles and beats Alipang. Linda embraces her father Hartley, and in the final scene they leave with Bill as Yabo drills his men.
Americans with guns and medical science help their Filipino
friends overcome the rebel Moros even though these Muslims use