In New York's Spanish neighborhood, residents happily prepare for a festival on the eve of Columbus Day. The friends and family of boxer Mateo Vargas, who have missed him over the past eight months, are eager for his return after serving a term in jail for striking a policeman. When Mateo receives a parole and arrives unexpectedly at his apartment, his mother, Mamita, little brother Pepito, and sister Lola prepare a celebration. His wife Blanca, however, faints when she sees her husband. After a worried Mateo summons a doctor, he learns that Blanca is a few months pregnant. Mateo is shocked at the news and, knowing that he cannot be the father, he becomes bitter and suspicious. He asks the doctor not to tell anyone about Blanca, then goes to a friend's tavern to drink. His manager, Manuel, wants Mateo to go back into training for a shot at the championship, but Mateo is too preoccupied with Blanca's infidelity to concentrate on his career. During Mateo's absence, Blanca had secretly been seeing Claudio, Lola's fiancé. Though they have tried to hide their relationship, Lola suspects that Claudio is more interested in Blanca than her, but when she tells her mother, Mamita slaps her. Later that day, Mateo confronts Blanca about her pregnancy and demands to know who is responsible. Though he tells Blanca that he feels partially responsible for her infidelity, she will not reveal the name of her lover. As the evening approaches, Mateo drinks more and becomes obsessed with discovering his wife's lover's identity. When he runs into Claudio on the street, he demands to know who has been seeing Blanca, but a frightened Claudio tries to tell him that his suspicions are groundless. Claudio then secretly goes to the Vargas apartment to see Blanca. Claudio convinces her to meet him in the basement later by riding down on the dumb waiter. When Claudio enters the basement, he is secretly observed by Lola, who sees him checking the ropes on the dumb waiter. Lola then runs upstairs and confronts Blanca. As they argue, a very drunk Mateo comes home Lola and tells him that Claudio is Blanca's lover and that she was just about to leave on the dumb waiter. He runs to the dumb waiter shaft and yells for Claudio, but Claudio, concerned that Blanca has taken too long to meet him, goes up to the apartment, unaware that Mateo is there. When Claudio arrives, the two men have a violent argument. Fearful, Claudio moves to the fire escape, but is followed by Mateo. As the festival revelers dance on the street, they see the men on the fire escape just before Mateo strikes Claudio, causing him to fall to the pavement. Because Claudio dies in the fall, Pat, the neighborhood policeman is summoned. As Pat takes Mateo away, Blanca screams that she is responsible and still loves Mateo, but he will not listen. Just before he leaves the building, she tells him that she will always love him. Finally, when Mamita comes, she comforts Blanca, who says that she will spend the rest of her life repaying Mamita's kindness.