The Bondurant Brothers, Forrest, Howard and Jack, take up lawless methods of achieving the American Dream during the Depression in Franklin County, Virginia. Soon their illegal money-making schemes, including selling their home brewed moonshine in their saloon, attract the attention of the local law enforcement who recruit a corrupt inner-city cop, Charlie Rakes, to break the brothers and force them to give him shares in their profits. In an attempt to gain his brothers' respect and win the heart of the pure and well brought up Bertha who seeks danger and excitement, the suggestible and smart Jack partners with the brutal and, quite frankly, untrustworthy city gangster Floyd Banner - things start to become strained for the Bondurants when the 'indestructible' Forrest is seriously injured and loyalty among the brothers is questioned.

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