1928 Berlin. Bruno Krechmar, a successful connoisseur of painting, who has his wife Annelise and daughter Irma, and who has never betrayed his wife for nine years of marriage, is suddenly carried away by a stranger who meets in the cinema. She works there as a chaplain.
Her name is Magda Peter. She was sixteen years. She’s from a poor family. Father is old and sick. The mother is always ready to hit her or her brother Otto, who is older than Magda for three years. Parents molesting Magda with parasites, and she escapes from them to an elderly lady, Levandovskaya, and begins to work as a model. Magda herself dreams of becoming an actress. Levandovskaya tries to reduce it to the gentleman who called himself Mueller. As they liked each other, Magda willingly runs away with him. A month later he leaves. Magda at first wanted to commit suicide, but then changed her mind. After Mueller there were some Japanese, a fat old man “with a nose like a rotten pear.” Magda is trying to find a place for an actress, but without success. The apartment owner is happy to work for her at the cinema. Here it meets Krechmar.
Krechmar marvels at his duality: on the one hand, “inviolable tenderness” for his wife, on the other – the desire to meet with, Magda. Magda finds out his phone number and calls him.
Krechmar was horrified: his wife could take the pipe. He forbids Magda to call and offers her to rent an apartment. Magda, of course, accepts the offer, but does not stop calling. One day the telephone operator accidentally connects Max – Annelisa’s brother – with Krechmar during his conversation with Magda. Max is stunned and immediately hangs up. He does not say anything to Anneliese.
Krechmar goes to see the apartment, which was filmed by Magda. Magda confesses to him that she sent him a letter with a new address. This is a blow for Kretschmar: his wife always reads his letters, because they did not have secrets from each other. He realizes that it’s over. The letter can not be returned. He remains with Magda.
Anneliesa and her daughter moved to Max. Krechmar can not afford to let Magda into her apartment, so she settles with her. He writes a letter to his wife about how she still loves her, asks for forgiveness. However, his return is not a question. Magda attracts him, despite the vulgarity and gross shamelessness. When Magda’s brother appears and demands money from her for the silence about her past, Kretschmar expels him. Krechmar is jealous of Magda. Magda is so afraid of losing everything that Krechmar gave her that she does not dare to start any novels. Soon, Magda begins to demand their move to the old apartment Krechmar. He lends himself to persuasion. They’re moving. Kretschmar promises to get a divorce and marry Magda, but in fact the thought of divorce makes him horrified. Magda persuades him to finance the film, where she is promised a second female role. The film is vulgar, stupid,
At one of the meals at Krechmar there appears the American Horn, in which Magda recognizes the person, because of whom she wanted to part with life. Horn will also recognize Magda. The passion flares up again. However, everything is kept secret, because to lose money Krechmara Magda is not going to, and Horn has only unpaid debts.
Robert Horn is a cartoonist, he believes that the funniest thing in life... is based on subtle cruelty.
Krechmar’s daughter Irma suddenly gets sick with the flu. She can no longer recover. Krechmar, behind whom Max went, finds the last day of his daughter’s life. She dies with him. While he bids farewell to his daughter, Magda betrays him with Gorn.
The film, which was filmed Magda, is finally over. On viewing over Magda, the whole hall laughs: it’s so disgusting she plays. At home Magda rolls a hysterical and once again demands that Krechmar marry her. He promises, but a divorce is unthinkable for him. Magda and Horn meet almost every day, taking off for these meetings an apartment.
Krechmar and Magda go on a trip to Europe. Instead of a chauffeur, the Horn goes with them. In France, they stay at the hotel in the adjoining rooms connected by a common bathroom. Magda, pretending to wash, gets the opportunity to see Gorn.
So two weeks pass. Returning from one of the walks by the suburban train, they get in different cars. A friend of Kretschmar, the writer Zegelkrantz, sits in the car to Magda and Gorn. Collecting material for a new novel, he records the conversation between Magda and Horn and puts almost verbatim in his novel. A few days later, at the mountain stream, Szegelkranz reads this novel to Kretschmar, because he does not know that this couple is familiar to him.
Krechmar rushes to the hotel: he wants to kill Magda. But she swears to him that Gorna is not interested in women. Krechmar believes her, but demands to leave immediately. He drives himself on a winding mountain road. Because his eyes are covered with tears, he can not cope with control. They get into an accident. Magda gets off with a slight fright, and Krechmar dies.
Magda and Horn are going to live together, using the blindness of Krechmar, whose money they do not intend to lose. Magda is renting a two-story villa near Berlin. There they enter the three of us. Magda and Horn meet with great caution, but then Horn begins to behave openly, although he does not speak. Krechmar constantly hears footsteps, coughs and other sounds. Magda slips him on the signature checks for huge sums, which, of course, he signs, without asking any questions. Magda dreams of becoming Krechmar’s wife, since then half of his condition would fall into her hands.
Meanwhile, Zegelkrantz learns about the tragedy that happened to Krechmar. He goes to Berlin and talks about everything to Max, to which some rumors have already begun to reach. Zegelkrantz expresses the fear that Krechmar, now completely helpless, is completely in the hands of Horn and Magda. Max decides to visit Krechmar.
He arrives on time: Horn just came up with a new mockery of Krechmar. Max beats Horn with a cane and is going to take Kretschmar with him to Berlin. Krechmar first begs him to say that there was no Horn, and then wants to see Magda. Max takes him away before she comes.
Anneliza happily arranges Kretschmar in the former room of Irma. She still loves him. On the fourth day of his stay in Berlin, he remains at home alone. Suddenly, a watchman calls from his house and says that Magda has come to collect things and he does not know whether to let her in. Krechmaru miraculously manages to get to his apartment. He pulls out the Browning and wants to kill Magda, moving to the touch. In a short fight, Magda shoots at Kretschmar and kills him.