The king has captured the dangerous and thick-skinned Iron Hans and the penalty for setting him free is death. Iron Hans eventually persuades the young prince Joachim to release him and the two run away and live in hiding in the forest. When the prince fails at his assigned task of guarding Iron Hans' magic well, he must leave the forest and learn to make his own way in the world. Still, Iron Hans repeatedly lends the prince magical aid, and after many adventures, both men are able to reclaim their proper place in society.
Based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.