An epic tale of family, faith, power and oil set on the incendiary frontier of California's turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview, who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon. When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there's a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W., to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday, Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike.