Ron Howard's epic tale tells the story of two Irish immigrants' quest for land during the 1890s Oklahoma land rush. Tom Cruise stars as Joseph Donnelly, an ambitious young farmer in western Ireland. When a local protest against wealthy landlord Daniel Christie (Robert Prosky) results in the death of his father, Joseph seeks revenge. But his attempt at vengeance is thwarted by Shannon Christie (Nicole Kidman), the landlord's high-spirited and headstrong daughter, who stabs Joseph with a pitchfork. While convalescing at the Christies' manor, Joseph is propositioned by Shannon, who asks him to travel with her to America--where she is determined to acquire some of the free land being given away in the Oklahoma Territory. Arriving in Boston, Joseph acts as protective brother to Shannon in the foreign city streets as they struggle to earn the money to travel out west.