An experienced cinematic artisan and writer, produces in historical technicolor, the story of a westbound pioneer, John Markham, his frail wife, Melody, and his conquest of southern California lands, through friendship with the old Spanish Morenc family. It follows the years from 1874 to 1914, and his experiments with the products of the soil, going against tradition with oranges, his amicable relations with squatters, his switch from sheep to cattle, his irrigation and so on. In dramatic detail, the death of Melody is chronicled, the determination Consuelo shows in staying near him, the part his adopted and his real sons show in his dream of ranching empire. Worldly success is aligned against personal failure. For all its historical superabundance, its evident craftsmanship, it still offers a plausible, attentive panorama of dramatic family-cum-California tale-telling.