Corinna Schmidt comes from an impoverished yet well-known family in late nineteenth-century Berlin. During a social gathering at the home of the Treibel family, Corinna meets the young son, Leopold, who asks for her hand in marriage. Corinna is attracted to the wealth and stateliness of the Treibel home and accepts the proposal, but Leopold’s mother, Jenny, attempts to thwart the marriage before it goes public, which, of course, it does.
Jenny insists on a quick wedding, but Corinna has already seen through the intrigue. She turns to her cousin Marcel for counsel. Marcel is a social democrat who has been thrown out of the country for his politics, but he knows that Corinna waits for him back home.
Based on the novel Frau Jenny Treibel by Theodor Fontane.