Franz Biberkopf has just been released from prison, after serving four years for manslaughter. As a former criminal, he vows to reform himself and become his own man. Unfortunately, Franz isn't very smart, and he involves himself with the wrong people and unknowingly becomes involved in a variety of criminal activities. A stubborn man, Franz refuses to believe his true friends when they tell him that he should not trust Reinhold, a man who Franz believes is his best friend, but who is actually a malicious, evil person. It is not until Reinhold kills Franz's beloved girlfriend, Mieze, and tries to implicate him in the murder, that Franz understand what is really happening. Confined to a mental hospital due to the doctors' belief that he killed Mieze out of insanity, Franz begins trying to put his life back together.
This report prepared by Judy Berman