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|Richard Rober||Sheriff Ben Kellogg|
|Gwendolyn Laster||Carolyn Crawford|
|Maidie Norman||Martha Crawford|
|George Hamilton||Grandpa Peabody|
|Ernest Anderson||Ralph Crawford|
|Dick Simmons||Deputy Mickey McClure|
|Lane Chandler||Deputy Stan|
|Margaret Wells||School Teacher, Miss Peterson|
|Wheaton Chambers||Mr. Woody, Florist|
|Michael Ross||Deputy Frank|
|Russell Trent||Deputy Chet|
|Allen Mathews||Deputy Hal|
|John Philips||Deputy Fred|
|Christine Larsen||Casey (as Christine Larson)|
|Edwin Max||Bert, Milkman (as Ed Max)|
|Guy Beach||Baggage Man|
|Robert Osterloh||Alex Wylie|
|Harry Morgan||Claude Packard (as Henry Morgan)|
|Barry Kelley||Sam Packard (as Barry Kelly)|
|Walter Kelly||Chip Williams|
|Mary Ellen Kay||Lois|
|Tom Powers||Jim, Mayor|
|Bill Walker||Dr. Billings|
The film centers around Carolyn, a five-year-old black girl who falls in to an abandoned, overgrown well while picking flowers on her way to school one morning. Her parents seek assistance from Sheriff Ben Kellogg (Richard Rober) to help find their daughter.
Carolyn's disappearance causes anger and confusion in the community, and various rumors quickly spread amongst the white and black populations when a white stranger, Claude Packard (Harry Morgan), is arrested on suspicion of it.
Packard, a mining engineer, is in town visiting his uncle, Sam Packard, a well-known local businessman, who attempts to use his influence to get his nephew out of police custody. This inflames the racial tension further, and when he is approached by Carolyn's relatives outside the police station, he suffers a heart attack but which spreads amongst the white population as a racial attack. Things quickly get out of hand as various black and white gangs starting attacking one another.
The Sheriff requests that the mayor order state assistance to put down the potentially serious disturbances and readies voluntary deputies to break up the growing white mob at Sam Packard's warehouse.
Before events can spiral out of control, Carolyn is found alive in the well but can't be easily extracted. It takes the combined effort of all the townsfolk, and Claude Packard, to safely rescue her and return her to her family.