The son of a carpenter, the young Julien Sorel became tutor in the family De Renal, a middle-class family of Besancon.
Despite its humble beginnings, the boy looking strong and rebellious began his rise to fame. In a short time Madame de Renal falls madly in love young and, right away, in the village is beginning to rumor of the alleged relationship between the two. Julien is forced to embark on a flight that will take him first, to enter the seminary and, then, to become secretary to the family of the Marquis de La Mole, one of the most prestigious families in Paris.
Here he find love, in return, the young daughter of the Marquis, but the relationship is opposed by most parties. Julien will have to fight for himself and for his ideals.