Lors de la dernière guerre mondiale, un officier allemand est logé chez un vieux monsieur et sa nièce. Amoureux de la France et de sa culture, l'officier leur rend visite chaque soir pour les entretenir de ses diverses réflexions. Mais les habitants opposent à leur locataire un silence déterminé. Le film est adapté de la nouvelle de Vercors.
1941 in a small town in Nazi occupied France. Against the will of its elderly male and his adult niece residents, the Nazis commandeer a house for one of their officers, Lt. Werner von Ebrennac, to live in for as long as he is in the area on Nazi business. As a figurative and literal silent protest against the Nazis and the officer, the uncle and niece do whatever is required of them while the officer is in their house, however they do not acknowledge his presence, living largely in silence whenever he is around.