Most of the scenes are set in the corporate boardroom and surrounding offices of Ramsey & Co., a Manhattan industrial empire headed by the ruthless Walter Ramsey. He recruits youthful industrial engineer Fred Staples, ...展开grooming him to replace the aging Bill Briggs as the second in command at the company. Though Ramsey will not fire Briggs outright, he does everything in his power to sabotage and humiliate his subordinate into resigning, but the old man stubbornly refuses to give in. Staples has mixed feelings about the messy situation, ambition conflicting with sympathy for Briggs.
In the end, the stress gets to Briggs. He collapses and later dies in the hospital. This causes a heated showdown between Ramsey and Staples. In the end, Staples decides to take the job, promising never to back down from his boss, who is delighted.