When peasant girl Nives (Sophia Loren) is deserted by
smuggler Gino Lodi (Rik Battaglia), she betrays him to the police.
Police officer Enzo Cinti (Gérard
Oury), who loves Nives, traces her to the Po River cane fields, where she is
working as a cutter to support herself and an infant son, and warns her that
Gino has escaped from prison and is seeking revenge.
She rejects his offer to protect her.
Gino finds Nives, mourning the drowning death of their son.
He surrenders himself to the police and then walks at Nives' side in the