Horst Buchholz stars as a carefree young man named Philip Gale. He spends the night with a prostitute and wakes up in the morning to find the ship he was supposed to sail on is gone, and to make matters worse, the woman has stolen his passport and money.
Philip discovers just how hard life is without his papers and money, but he does his best to find a ship that will take him back to his home in New Orleans.
Philip meets a beautiful young woman named Mylene (Elke Sommer) and they hit it off very well. He finally gets a shipping gig on a broken down boat called the "Yorkkie" and promises he'll stay in touch with her.
The ship proves to be more of a slave ship than anything else and the Captain treats the crew like garbage. One day Philip and another crew member discover illegal cargo, namely ammunition hidden in jars of plum jam.
This leads to many problems and it's also discovered that the Captain plans to sink his own ship and collect money for it.
This is a very downbeat film with a tragic ending for all involved. This is another film that seems to have slipped into obscurity, and that is a shame as it is a very brutal and engaging film. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!