The murder of her father sends a teenage tomboy, Mattie Ross (Kim Darby), on a mission of “justice”, which involves avenging her father’s death. She recruits a tough old marshal, “Rooster” Cogburn (John Wayne), because he has “grit”, and a reputation of getting the job done. The two are joined by a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), who is looking for the same man (Jeff Corey) for a separate murder in Texas. Their odyssey takes them from Fort Smith, Arkansas, deep into the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) to find their man.
After Fran Smith disappears one day in mysterious circumstances, Fran’s daughter Deanna and Fran’s sister, Sherrie endlessly search for her with enduring hope. The most likely suspect in Fran’s disappearance is her husband John, but without a body, neither Deanna or Sherrie can prove that murder, much less a crime, has even been committed. With the support of Sherrie, Deanna embarks on an eleven-year search to trace John’s past, eventually uncovering a 25 year-old case of a missing person that involved John’s first wife, who too, disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Using this lead, Deanna and Sherrie must use all their evidence to bring John to justice.