1850 Saint-Pierre, a forgotten small island near Canada. Neel Auguste is found guilty and condemned to death, but in Saint-Pierre there is neither guillotine nor executioner to carry out the sentence. While waiting for a guillotine to arrive from France, Neel is placed under the custody of the Captain and his wife, Madame La. She is particularly interested in Neel in whom she sees goodness and simplicity. Little by little the condemned man becomes indispensable and his popularity soars. But when the guillotine arrives by boat, justice must be done and the battle to save Neel's life escalates.