Niccolo "Mac" Vitelli is the eldest of three brothers in 1950s Queens. Mac is a construction builder, a trade he learned from his late father, and helps put his brothers on the job. When they can no longer take working for Polowski, who does shoddy work and is abusive to his staff, Mac and his brothers set up their own company. Together, Vitelli Brothers Construction builds houses with pride and care. But Mac turns out to be an overbearing workaholic, with obsessive concern about the quality of their work and incredible attention to detail. His intensity and driven ambition precludes a happy family life and begins to drive his brothers away.