Madrid in the '50s. Young soldier Paco (Sanz) is courting his major's maid Trini (Verdú), the only tension between them being her determination to preserve her virginity until they are married. When Paco is discharged from the army and takes a room in the home of beautiful young widow Luisa (Abril), he is delighted at the happy 'resolution' to his ferocious sexual frustration: he has a passionate affair with Luisa, while Trini remains pure. But he had not bargained on the mad jealousy which both women develop, and is soon faced with an impossible choice. Aranda focuses tightly on his three principals, effectively conveying the dreadful, consuming power of passion. But he fails to imbue this true story with enough depth for the grand tragedy to which he aspires. We are never given any reason to care about these lovers, and Franco's Spain serves merely as a richly photographed backdrop.