Fanny (Leslie Caron) is in love with Marius (Horst Buchholz), a landlocked mechanic who loves the sea and dreams of sailing away. His father Cesar (Charles Boyer) owns the waterfront tavern frequented by the sailors. Panisse (Maurice Chevalier) is a lonely wealthy widower who wishes to have a son to carry on the family name and business. Marius leaves a pregnant Fanny, who marries Panisse. Marius returns from the sea years later, heartbroken over having left Fanny. On his deathbed, Panisse gives Fanny and Marius his blessing to marry.