3 convicts escape jail in the deep south. They are continuously searching for a treasure while being hunted down by the warden. They meet several characters along the way such as a black guitarist who has sold his soul to the devil. They record a bluegrass type song that becomes an instant smash and are constantly thrown off track by various events. The story is based on The Odyssey Homer which details a long journey home. Several of the characters in The Odyssey are represented in the movie such as the cyclops is represented by John Goodman and the sirens are also encountered.