Set in the mid-1950’s in Australia, Martin and Kearney are itinerant farm workers, close companions who follow seasonal employment around the outback. At the moment, work is none too plentiful and they have turned their hands to operating as skilled, if small-time confidence men.
When Kearney becomes ill with influenza, the two men shelter in an abandoned mining hut on the outskirts of a small village. Worried about his friend’s condition, Martin goes into town to seek help. He finds Joycie working at the local hotel bar and enlists her aid in nursing Kearney. In time, she develops a relationship with both men and eventually moves in to the hut with the pair.
Their little menage-a-trois works awkwardly at first, but as time passes they manage to develop satisfactory ground rules and their situation becomes an affectionate, happy one. An element of domesticity takes over the ramshackle hut and we see the growth of true fondness, the beginnings of real love, between them.
But problems are growing. The local women have heard of the three cornered arrangement that has blossomed at the edge of their little town and are scandalized by it. Their men, too, are secretly jealous and resentful of what they perceive as the sort of cozy set-up they are denied.
Martin and Kearney are lured into the hotel, where a bunch of farmers prepare to attack them.
Meanwhile Joycie is visited by ‘ladies’ from the town who abuse her both physically and verbally and burn down the shack. For it while it seems the town has won as not only their little home, but the very fabric of their relationship has been irreparably damaged, but their love for one another is stronger than they realized.
Separately they didn’t amount to very much – but together they discover they can take on the world … and win.