A violent story of murder, rape and cruelty starts when an Italian family travels to Milan to begin a new life. Rocco (Alain Delon) and his brother Simone (Renato Salvatori) both fall for a local prostitute. Rocco gives her up, but Simone kills the harlot in a graphic repeated stabbing scene. Another brother brutally rapes his brother's girlfriend in front of him. All this is too much for the basically good Rocco who only wishes to leave Milan and return home.