In the style of an operetta, like director Jacques Demy's more famous film the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, this melodramatic story is set in Nantes in 1955 and centers around the tragedies of three or four intertwined lives. First, there is the young steel worker (Richard Berry) who is out on strike and has rented a room from an upper-class widow (Danielle Darrieux), a woman in sympathy with the strikers. The blue-collar worker has a girlfriend he finds less and less interesting just as she is more and more pregnant, and their relationship seems fated to end, one way or another. Then there is Edith (Dominique Sanda), the daughter of the widow, married to a wealthy, impotent, skinflint of a merchant caught up in his own neuroses, and, whether for that reason or several others, Edith is a part-time hooker. One evening she shows up in the worker's rented room, wearing a fur coat and nothing else – and the two share a night of passion. Now mother, daughter, the worker, and the daughter's husband have formed a very unstable chain of relationships, due to snap because at least one link is exceedingly weak.
Bay of the Angels (La Baie des anges) stars Jeanne Moreau as a middle-aged Parisian gambling addict who leaves her husband and children and heads for the roulette tables of Nice. There she meets young and handsome Claude Mann–a meeting which coincides with Moreau's first winning streak. She latches onto Mann in the belief that he's a good luck charm, and remains with him even when she starts losing heavily. Mann, emotionally drained, walks out of the relationship. The film ends with Mann entreating Moreau to return with him to the bourgeois existence that she'd escaped in the first scene. Bay of the Angels was directed by Jacques Demy, just before he achieved international fame with his musical films Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.