Inhabitants of a flophouse struggle to survive under the harsh treatment imposed by the landlord, Kostyleva (Vladimir Sokoloff). One resident, young thief Wasska Pepel (Jean Gabin), ends his affair with the landlord's wife, Vassilissa (Suzy Prim), and takes up with her sister, Natacha (Junie Astor). Pepel also befriends the baron (Louis Jouvet), a former nobleman fallen on hard times, but Pepel's attempts at happiness are complicated when he's accused of murder by a spiteful Vassilissa.
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