As writer Harry Street (Gregory Peck) lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident, he feverishly reflects on his life. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love, Cynthia Green (Ava Gardner), whom he lost through his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead, Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts.
In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen (Susan Hayward) tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realise that he is not a failure. With his realisation of a chance for love and happiness with Helen, will he regain his will to live?