The film is set in a remote town in the Ozarks. It was very controversial at the time - both for its theme and because of a topless and nude swimming scene by then-12-year-old Shirley Mills. The film bypassed the ban of onscreen nudity under the Hays Code by being produced and distributed independently of the studio system, and by claiming to be educational. Although the film was banned in many areas, the movie's controversial nature gave it a certain infamy and it played on the so-called exploitation circuit for many years.
According to an interview with Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, this movie was screened for the show, but it was considered too awful and disturbing by the crew, with Murphy saying that he needed "a good cry and a shower" after the film. In a separate interview with Frank Conniff, who selected films for the show, he cited it as the worst film he had watched as a potential selection for the show.
Miss Carol (Diana Durrell) is an idealistic teacher in a remote one-room schoolhouse. A native of the Ozarks herself, she is determined to stop the practice of child marriage, in which older men marry teen or preteen girls. Her campaign raises the ire of some local men, led by Jake Bolby (Warner Richmond), who one night drag her into the woods and tie her to a tree, with the intention of tarring and feathering her. Before they can do this, however, Angelo the dwarf (Angelo Rossitto) and Mr. Colton (George Humphreys) arrive with a shotgun to save the day.
Following this, Jake Bolby comes across young Jennie Colton (Shirley Mills) swimming naked. When her father dies, Bolby decides to take advantage of the opportunity to blackmail her mother into letting him marry the girl, threatening that otherwise he will see her hanged for murder. After he "courts" Jennie by giving her a doll, the two are married. It later turns out that this ceremony was illegal, as child marriage had been banned several days prior, but this point quickly becomes moot. Before Bolby can consummate the union, he is gunned down by Angelo. Jennie leaves his house with Freddie Nulty (Bob Bollinger).