1979: A train from the city of San Diaz steams across the monotonous desert landscape towards Angra Pequena, a village on the barren coast. On board the train is Charly, a young carefree pick-pocket, bumming a ride. Unaware of what fate has in store for him, Charly makes lighthearted fun of his fellow travelers. Angra Pequena with its own peculiar enchantment is the background for this unusual and off-beat love story between two young people from differing worlds. In a strange castle-like house on the outskirts of the village, Jenny Markham a naïve seventeen year old girl whose only 'friends' are her puppets, is kept a virtual prisoner by her disturbed grandmother who has influenced Jenny to believe that her mother had killed Jenny’s father. During the New Year’s eve festivities a jittery, sweating Kramer kills an innocent shopkeeper, to get money for drugs. The local police tyrant, Condorini, immediately suspects Charly of the crime, and so the hunt for Charly begins. Then follow a series of intriguing and often amusing adventures between the obsessed Condorini and the petty thief, Charly.
It is during this hunt that Charly finds refuge in the Markam’s sinister home and also meets Jenny. Although worlds apart in background they soon fall in love, only to have it shattered by Condorini when he eventually arrests Charly. Jenny now completely disillusioned, decides to leave. Molly, the Markham’s housekeeper, rushes to the prison to tell Charly of Jenny’s impending departure. At this point the story takes an unexpected turn. Charly escapes from prison and Condorini, now completely besides himself with range, stalks Charly who is making his way to the station before the train leaves with Jenny aboard. The suspense builds up to a dramatic climax before Charly and Jenny are re-united in a bittersweet, but happy ending.