This drama follows Ned Hanlan (Nicolas Cage), who is known to be a Canadian competitive rowing champion. Ned Hanlan is adopted by a gambler named Bill, who promotes the boy on the sculling circuit for his own monetary gain. As a young man, Ned is very trouble-prone but does not lack the fierce determination needed in his attempt to become a formidable athlete. In this attempt, A businessman named Knox assumes control of Hanlan's career who backs Ned for his own personal gain and discards him when this gain is no longer in sight. Through Knox, Ned meets and falls for the niece of the businessman, Margaret (Cynthia Dale). Hanlan's professional success is capped by his marriage to Margaret.