Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford take the lead roles in this Hollywood treatment of the novella by Prosper Mérimée. Don José (Ford) is a guard who begins an affair with the tempestuous gypsy, Carmen (Hayworth). Cashiered out of the army, he is imprisoned, then flees with her to the mountains. When the relationship starts to break down, José refuses to acknowledge it, trying desperately to relight their passion. Carmen meanwhile has taken up with the bullfighter Lucas (John Baragrey).