When petty criminal Luke Jackson is sentenced to two years in a Florida prison farm, he doesn’t play by the rules of either the sadistic warden or the yard’s resident heavy, Dragline, who ends up admiring the new guy’s unbreakable will. Luke’s bravado, even in the face of repeated stints in the prison’s dreaded solitary confinement cell, “the box,” make him a rebel hero to his fellow convicts and a thorn in the side of the prison officers.
Almost 19-year-old Marius feels himself in a rut in Marseille, his life planned for him by his cafe’-owning father, and he longs for the sea. The night before he is to leave on a 5-year voyage, Fanny, a girl he grew up with, reveals that she is in love with him, and he discovers that he is in love with her. He must choose between an exciting life at sea, and a boring life with the woman he loves. And Fanny must choose between keeping the man she loves, and letting him live the life he seems to want.