Young Mario (Giancarlo Damiani) loses his mother, Ada (Giulia Rubini), when she's hit by a truck, and so his father, Aldo (Gastone Renzelli), a mechanic, must leave his job in Kenya and return to Italy. The father and son have nothing in common, and Mario shies away from him. Aldo must return to Africa and so puts his son in an orphanage, but the boy escapes on the eve of his father's departure and takes refuge with his friend Richetto (Pierre Trabaud). Aldo finds Mario, and Richetto explains that he had been only a helping friend to Ada -- and that, as a woman alone in the city with a child, she needed help. He urges Aldo to be there for the son who needs him, and Aldo decides not to go back to Kenya but to stay and raise Mario.