Sicilian small village... around 1880.
The peasant Turiddu, who once loved fellow villager Lola, was comforted by the new affection, Santuzza. Lola, having married a cabman Alfio, does not find happiness in marriage and re-inflame his former feelings in Turiddu. He cools down to Santuzza, which makes her desperate.
Santuzza confides to the mother Turiddu Lucia the whole story of her bitter love.
Lola's husband does not doubt the integrity of his wife.
Santuzza begs Turiddu to return to her. But he is annoyed by her eternal jealousy.
Lola appears and Turiddu hurries after the beautiful and flirty woman. Santuzza blocks his path. In response to this, Turiddu rudely repels his mistress who is bored with him. The girl, crying, curses the traitor... Suddenly she sees the cabman Alfio and tells him about the criminal love of Turiddu and Lola. Alfio rages like mad and vows revenge.
The people leave the church after the Easter service. Turiddu wants to give wine for the cabman, but he knocks out his glass. This insult can only be washed off with blood. Turiddu, according to the Sicilian custom, bites Alfio behind the ear. It's a challenge.
The battle will be on knives, not for life, but for death. Turiddu suddenly sobers. He remembers: if they kill him, Santuzza will be left alone. He would like to make peace with Alfio, but late. He says that he is waiting for him outside the village...
Turiddu says goodbye to his mother. Feeling guilty before Santuzza, he asks his mother to take care of her.
After an ominous silence, a terrible cry is heard: “They killed Turiddu!”