It is December 1956 and three soldiers - a sergeant, a corporal and a private - are on leave in Paris. As they make their way through the city, drinking, gambling and raging against a war they're forced to fight in a faraway place, they come to realize they are strangers in their own country. Lachaume, the middle-class intellectual, is estranged from his wife and unrecognizable to his bourgeois friends. Valette, a Communist, feels betrayed by his party, while the streetwise rebel Lasteyrie just wants to pick up a girl who'll help him forget. What they have to say about the things they've seen can't be heard; can't even be spoken.