Young lovers Fanny (Leslie Caron) and Marius (Horst Buchholz) seem made for each other, but he also wants to set out to sea. Eventually, Marius departs and, after years, they are finally reunited, only for him to discover that he is the father of Fanny's son. While Marius was away, Fanny married the much older Panisse (Maurice Chevalier) for stability. On his deathbed, Panisse expresses hopes that Fanny and Marius will marry. But can they put aside the past and move on?