[On-screen text: "Salem, Mass. 1800"] Fur trapper Jason Starbuck (Jeff Chandler) arrives in Salem. A general store owner challenges him to a horse race, but his rider's fiancee, Roxana Reil, gives a helpful tip to Starbuck on how to win the race.
A romantic attraction develops and Roxana's father advises her not to marry a man she doesn't love. Roxana sets sail for France, however, and her boat is attacked by pirates, who kill her father and take Roxana captive in Morocco, making her a slave.
Starbuck pursues her. He is introduced by a U.S. consul to the sultan, who is impressed with Starbuck's rifle marksmanship. He is offered a position with the sultan's infantry and given a slave of his own, Lilith.
Roxana has been sold to Omar Id-Din, who could be plotting against the sultan. Starbuck challenges Omar to a duel, with the winner acquiring the other's rifle and slave. Starbuck wins and intends to return home with Roxana, but they are betrayed by the jealous Lilith, who fights Roxana and tells Omar of their plans.
Starbuck is taken prisoner. Lilith has a change of heart, however, and changes clothes with Roxana to fool the guards. With the help of Hassan Sendar, one of the sultan's soldiers, they help rescue Starbuck, who leads the escape of other prisoners. He throws Omar from a roof. He and Roxana are free, and, as a reward, Hassan is given a new slave, Lilith.
Jeff Chandler recorded the song I Should Care on Brunswick Records from the film.
The novel was a best seller and Universal bought the film rights as a vehicle for Jeff Chandler.
This film provided Mamie Van Doren with one of her first major movie roles. Universal Pictures was eager to promote Van Doren as their version of Marilyn Monroe, and this seemed to them to be the perfect film to accomplish this.