In the Southwest, shortly after the Civil
War, two bounty hunters find themselves on the track of the same
criminal. Both men, a steely-eyes young man called the Stranger
(Man with No Name) and his older peer, a former Confederate officer
known as Colonel Mortimer, decide to band together and hunt their
quarry, agreeing to split the reward.
The quarry is a bandit named Indio, a
vicious bank robber who has been convicted of killing Mortimer's sister.
They track down Indio, and the Stranger gains his confidence by helping
one of his gang members escape from jail, and action that results in him
becoming one of Indio's gang. Along with three other men, the
Stranger is assigned the job of creating a distraction large enough to
enable Indio and his other conspirators to rob the bank in El Paso.
One alone with his "partners", the
Stranger kills them all, but he cannot move quickly enough to prevent
the robbery in El Paso from taking place. While the Colonel waits
for the Stranger to lead Indio into a planned ambush, the Stranger talks
Indio into traveling in a direction opposite from that he and the
Colonel agreed upon. The Stranger's plan to enact a double-cross
at the Colonel's expense is prevented when the Colonel, not a man to be
taken lightly, suspects the deception and confronts the Stranger when he
arrives at his destination. The two me decide to rejoin forces and
continue with the plan to collect the bounty money.
The Colonel opens the safe stolen from El
Paso with the use of acid. Indio decides to sit on the money for
the time until the heat cools down. The Stranger and the Colonel
decide to steal the money from Indio, but are captured after hiding the
gold. When torture fails to make them reveal the hidden money,
Indio pretends to release them, only to have them followed. A
violent battle follows, during which the Stranger and Colonel kill all
the band members. The climax comes when the Colonel confronts
Indio and kills him in revenge of his sister's death. Satisfied
with vengeance, the Colonel allows the Stranger to keep the reward
money. The Stranger quickly agrees and leaves town with a wagon
load of bodies and the money from the bank robbery.