Off the Salinas River in California, two crooks, Lennie and George went looking for a job after being chased away from their last one because Lennie mistakenly grabbed a girl by the dress.
Lennie and George are good friends but Lennie is mentally disabled which means George needs to watch over his all the time and often gets himself into a lot of trouble.
The two boys arrive at the ranch and are greeted by the bosses son Curley but he immediately dislikes Lennie and starts picking on him. Then Curley's wife causes problems by seeking mens attention. Soon the boy become friends with a guy named Candy.
Lennie got a puppy from another ranch worker, Slim, and was in the barn petting it when suddenly Curley's wife comes in and begins to talk to Lennie. Without knowing, Lennie grabs her hair because he likes soft things but when she got nervous and tells him to stop, he breaks her neck.
Outside, Lennie was given specific instructions by George that if anything bad happened he should go hide out by the river. George meets him there...
Lennie is kneeling by the edge of the river when... BANG. George shoots Lennie before Curley could find him and do it himself. It was for his own good.