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Pierre Fresnay stars as Schweitzer, while Jeanne Moreau co-stars as Marie, his dedicated nurse. The film begins with Schweitzer's graduation from medical school and his decision to travel to Gabon in Africa, there to establish a free clinic for the natives. Accompanying the doctor is Marie, who'd originally become a nurse to overcome an unfortunate romance, but who is soon swept up in Schweitzer's noble cause. The climax finds Schweitzer facing deportation as an "unfriendly alien" during WW I.