Malena is a beautiful, silent woman who’s moved to a Sicilian town to be with her husband, Nico. Soon he goes off to war, leaving her sexual presence to the lustful eyes of the men and the sharp tongues of the village women. As the 12-year old boy Renato grows toward manhood, he watches Malena suffer and prove her mettle. He sees her loneliness, then grief when Nico is reported dead, the effects of slander on her relationship with her father, her poverty and search for work, and final humiliations. Despite his deep feelings about her, he eventually decides he’d pay any price to have her, at least for a night. Will Renato succeed in his wish and stand up for Malena?