Fontamara is a village in the Marsica, forgotten by all but God and its inhabitants are called 'cafoni' (boors). Berardo Viola wants to marry Elvira but only after gaining enough money to buy some land and in order to reach his aim he has the idea of going to a great city. When Maria Grazia is raped by the fascists, Berardo and Antonio decide to leave Fontamara and go to Rome. Here they are swindled by a lawyer and afterwards they are invited by an antifascist to a restaurant where they are arrested by the police because of some subversive papers they had.
Popeye is a super-strong, spinach-scarfing sailor man who's searching for his father. During a storm that wrecks his ship, Popeye washes ashore and winds up rooming at the Oyl household, where he meets Olive.