Juan Gallardo, a poor but ambitious young shoemaker's son in Southern Spain yearns to be a matador. To that end he and his companions set out for Seville where he eventually finds fame and fortune in the arena. Fawning admirers and parasites, beginning with his brother in law and sister, whom he sets up in their own business surround him. He marries his sweetheart Carmen, only to to neglect her when he meets a Dona Alvira, a man-eating femme fatale attracted to celebrities as long as they remain on top. He also meets a notorious bandit, Plumitas who terrorizes the local countryside and happily evades the law. Eventually, due to his obsession with Dona Elvira, Juan's skills begin to slip and his star begins to fade. His adoring followers drift away and he is fatally gored in the arena. Despite the efforts of the Doctor, Ruiz, he dies with his faithful wife Carmen at his bedside. At the same time, the bandit is recognized in the audience by a detective and is shot dead during an escape ...