The film begins with the funeral of one of the three Tempio brothers. These men are violent criminals. Mourning the passage of their beloved brother Johnny are Chez and Ray. Ray is cold and calculating. Chez is hot tempered. Flashbacks show us that Johnny was more sensitive. Exposure to Communist meetings as a spy sway Johnny's opinions.
The chief suspect in Johnny's murder is rival gangster Gaspare.
Ray and Chez swear revenge. Ray's wife, Jeanette, opposes the campaign of retribution and the violence it will bring, while Chez' wife, Clara, struggles to deal with her husband's obsessive nature.