Around 1820, in Seville, Spain, the most provocative gypsy, Carmen, is of all the girls at a place near a cigarette factory. There are a lot of men and women. She sings 'Habanera' and, she fascinates the young men there. But, only a soldier of the guard, Don Jose isn't interested in her. Carmen provocatively throws a flower to him, and leaves.
The girls who went back to the cigarette factory, cause a quarrel. Carmen is to blame, and she is arrested. However, Carmen seduces the guard, Jose, and runs away.
A month later, Jose who was imprisoned for letting Carmen slip away, has just been released, and he goes to meet her at a tavern. With that flower in his hand, He tells her his feelings. Carmen requires Jose not to report for roll call, but to stay with her. Jose is worried. He can't help himself to join the smugglers with her.
Carmen's group members are smugglers. Jose later regrets his choice. Carmen is already in love another man, Escamillo who is a bullfighter.
Then, Jose's childhood friend, Micaela, visits him. She informs him that his mother is seriously ill. Jose decides to go home.
The following month, at the square in front of the bullfight arena, Escamillo who is Carmen's lover, is welcomed by spectators. He enters the arena. Carmen remains at the square, then, Jose appears. He demands she leave with him, but she refuses to. In rejection to his persistence, Carmen throws away the ring that Jose once gave her. Jose stabs her to death with a dagger, and he is then dumbfounded by his actions.