To all appearances the two men had nothing in common, but for the fact they were both residents of the Argentine outpost of Corrientes and shared an English background. Eduardo Plarr (Richard Gere) was a diligent, hardworking man of medicine; Charley Fortnum (Michael Caine) an alcoholic, good-for-nothing Honorary Consul. Taken captive when a terrorist plan to kidnap an American diplomat backfires, they both become prey to some very unwholesome revelations. For some time, both men have been sharing the favours of, and an obsession with the same woman. Only one has the capacity to love her.