At the beginning of World War II, while the Germans entered France from the north, many people had reason to believe that the Germans would not treat them kindly, and they fled by train to the south. This French film tells the story of a few of them. Because they were fleeing the best-organized bureaucrats in the world, many of them chose to flee in freight cars, unseen and unnoted. When Meyereu (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is separated from his wife during the escape, he allows a Jewish girl (Romy Schneider) to pose as his wife. As the deception continues, they come to care for each other, but she discreetly disappears when his real wife turns up.