The intersecting life stories of Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday in early twentieth century California is presented. Miner turn oilman Daniel Plainview is a driven man who will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. He works hard but he also takes advantage of those around him at their expense if need be. His business partner is his son H.W., who in reality he "acquired" when H.W.'s biological single father, who worked on one of Daniel's rigs, got killed in a workplace accident. Daniel is deeply protective of H.W. if only for what H.W. brings to the partnership. Eli Sunday is one in a pair of twins, whose family farm Daniel purchases for the major oil deposit located on it. Eli, the local preacher and a self-proclaimed faith healer, wants the money from the sale of the property to finance his own church. The lives of the two competitive men often clash as Daniel pumps oil off the property and tries to acquire all the surrounding land at bargain prices to be able to build a ...