The title character, played by Claudia Cardinale, is a young woman who heads out alone to the big city after being dumped by her lover. She is befriended and protected by her ex-suitor's younger brother Jacques Perrin, who eventually becomes her new romance, despite the difference in ages (Perrin is 16, while Cardinale is...somewhat older). When Cardinale begins a new relationship with a musician, she tries to let Perrin down easily, but the young man is too headstrong for that. When they finally do part, Perrin gives Cardinale a large sum of money as a farewell gift. Despite the fact that Claudia Cardinale subsists off the kindness of strangers in this film, Girl With a Suitcase (originally La Fille de La Valise in France and La Ragazza Con la Valigia in Italy) treats her character with warmth and sympathy.