It is possible the young poet Andrea Chénier by his honest commitment to freedom and humanity, become suspicious in any political system: at a party on the eve of the revolution in the castle of the Countess of Coigny, he shocked everybody by his worship on the ideals of freedom. Only Madeleine, the daughter of the Countess and the Gérard hopelessly in love they share his attitude. In the subsequent reign of terror of Robespierre, Chénier is suspected, however, counter-revolutionary activities. He must hide as well as the noble Madeleine. About Esther, the former Chambermaid of the Countess, he succeeds to make contact with her. Both swear each other eternal love. But also Gérard, who is now Deputy of the Chamber is looking for Madeleine, he also still loves. Just at the moment when decide Chénier and Madeleine to a joint flight, he meets the two. Driven by his love for Madeleine and his past sympathy for Chénier, he but helps him to escape. However, Chénier is arrested shortly thereafter. As affiliated Madeleine at Gérard appears and the price for the salvation of Chéniers offers even her body this, Gérard, who recognizes that the revolution has betrayed the ideals propagated Robespierre to be approached to save Chénier decides. Unfortunately, this attempt fails. Madeleine, who would die together with her lover, reached at the closing of the prison, to be exchanged against a prisoner sentenced to death. So, Chénier and Madeleine go their last journey to the guillotine to be forever United in the new life together - in the hope.