Itinerant troublemaker Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson) has a meal at a roadside restaurant and meets devastating femme fatale Cora Papadakis (Jessica Lange). As it turns out, Cora is married to the restaurant's owner, Nick (John Colicos). Happy to have a visitor, Papadakis offers Chambers a job. Chambers stays on and begins to help himself to whatever he likes -- including Cora. The two dive headlong into a torrid romance and begin to plot the perfect murder.