Gangster impresario Roch Siffredi has pre-war Marseille in the palm of his well-manicured hand. But when an upstart Italian mob tries to claim the French port town's vice trade for their own, the resulting gang war leaves Siffredi's partner dead, his theater and nightclub in ruins, his brothel vacant and his allies turned against him. "Kill me fast," Siffredi warns victorious rival Valpone. But Valpone's leering reply, "that would be absurd," seals the destinies of both men. Tortured, humiliated, and cast into an insane asylum, Siffredi is stripped of everything except an all-consuming vendetta against Valpone.