Based on the 1909 novel by Jack London, a young sailor named Martin Eden is welcomed with open arms into an industrial middle-class liberal family after rescuing the family's young heir, Arturo, from a violent attack.

In their home, Martin crosses paths with Arturo's enchanting sister Elena, and romance blossoms. Martin then aspires to transcend his humble beginnings and climb to the top of the social elite as a writer, all to be worthy of Elena's hand.