Set in the Rocky Mountains of Montana in the early 1900s, this is a tale of love, betrayal, and brotherhood. After being discharged, Colonel William Ludlow (Sir Anthony Hopkins) decides to raise his three sons in the wilds of Montana, where they can grow up away from the government and society he has learned to despise. The three brothers mature and seem to have an unbreakable bond, until Susannah (Julia Ormond) enters their lives. When Samuel (Henry Thomas), the youngest of the three, returns from college he brings with him his beautiful fiancée, Susannah. The eldest son, Alfred (Aidan Quinn), soon finds himself in love with his brother's fiancée, and things get worse when he discovers a growing passion between Susannah and Tristan (Brad Pitt). Colonel William Ludlow's favorite son, Tristan is willful and as wild as the mountains. As the brothers set out to fight a war in Europe, suspicion and jealousy threatens to tear apart their once indestructible bond.