Taciturn marshal-turned-bounty hunter Henry Fonda rides into a small town where greenhorn deputy Anthony Perkins is sole representative of the law. Sensing that the boy could use some seasoning, Fonda makes it his mission to teach Perkins how to protect himself against the criminal element. Though diametrically opposed in personality, the older Fonda and the younger Perkins find they are kindred spirits in their dedication to their work. Using the lessons taught him by Fonda, Perkins is able to prove his worth by taking on town hothead Neville Brand. Directed with a minimum of slack and flab by Anthony Mann, The Tin Star was later spun off into the TV series The Deputy, which starred Henry Fonda and Allen Case.