Jasper Bloodshy runs the rough-and-tumble town of Bloodshy -- named after him because he founded it -- which lives in fear of Jasper's gunslinging son Wild Billy. Jasper has just found out he has another son named Eli, who lives in Philadelphia.
It turns out that years ago, Jasper's crazy ways were too much for his bride from England, so she left -- leaving behind one twin -- and returned to England. With the help of his English butler Mansfield, he writes a new will that mentions Eli, then fakes his death by pretending to fall off a cliff in front of Bloodshy's corrupt mayor Ragsdale and sheriff The Denver Kid, both of whom he has just told about his second son.
We next meet Eli, who turns out to be the opposite of Wild Billy. Eli has been trained to live for the Lord. He works as a Salvation Army missionary in Philadelphia with orphans named Roxanne and Marcus.
One day, during a fight in which people are throwing vegetables at him and the children, Eli receives a telegram informing him about his father's death, a father he didn't know existed. He decides to accept the invitation to come to Bloodshy for his inheritance and take Marcus and Roxanne.
Their stagecoach is held up by the Snead brothers, a group of outlaws that Ragsdale has sent to run off Eli. Unfortunately, nobody was told that Jasper's other son was a twin, so they mistake Eli for Wild Billy (the first of many to mistake the two).
The Sneads return to Bloodshy, but did cause the stagecoach to run off, leaving Eli, Marcus, and Roxanne stranded. On their way to Bloodshy (by foot), they meet a woman named Jenny who is also headed for Bloodshy to start a school. They head for the town together.
Mansfield brings the will to Sheriff Denver to deliver to Ragsdale. From there, it's learned that a contest is involved in the inheritance. Ragsdale sends Denver to find Billy and tell him that the fortune is his.
The contest is a miles-long obstacle course known as the Bloody Bloodshy Trail that involves operating train engines, crossing a gorge using a rope, climbing a mountain, and driving a wagon.
During the contest both Eli and Billy realize that Ragsdale has set them up to kill each other so that he would collect the entire fortune. Both brothers make up and expose Ragsdale for what he really is. Soon after Ragsdale is imprisoned. Denver Kid becomes the new mayor and makes his sheriff Rattlesnake, who throughout the film was trying to get his job as sheriff.
- Jim Dale as Eli / Wild Billy / Jasper Bloodshy
- Karen Valentine as Jenny
- Don Knotts as Denver Kid
- Jack Elam as Rattlesnake
- Darren McGavin as Mayor Ragsdale
- John Williams as Mansfield
- Warren Vanders as Boss Snead
- Debbie Lytton as Roxanne
- Michael Sharrett as Marcus
- David S. Cass Sr. as Jack (as Dave Cass)
- Richard Wright as Pete
- Don 'Red' Barry as Bartender
- James Van Patten as Jake (as Jimmy Van Patten)
- Gregg Palmer as Jeff
- Ed Bakey as Joshua
- Dallas McKennon as Saloon Man
Eli Bloodshy's Iron Donkey, number 11, can be found in the queue for Big Thunder Railroad at Disneyland in California. A second train is also located on the trail from Big Thunder Ranch to Fantasyland.