Garfield stars as an irredeemable racketeering louse who shakes down the fishermen of Sheepshead Bay. Elderly friends Jonah (Mitchell) and Olaf (Qualen) have big dreams and small means but pay protection money to Harold Goff for safety's sake. Harold woos Jonah's bored daughter Stella (Lupino) and continues to threaten the two men so they plot Harold's death. Fate intervenes so the good guys don't become bad guys. Based on the Irwin Shaw play "The Gentle People."