Set at the end of the XIX-th century. Madame Dulska is the sole and absolute ruler of her house in Cracow. She is ruthless, greedy and oversensitive of the reputation of her family. To protect his son from temptations she overlooks the affair he is having with the maid. Young Dulski first wants to marry the girl, but then yields to his mother demands and turns his interest to a cousin. Everything returns to normal: his father has his habitaul visits to a brothel, his son to a cabaret and Madame Dulska safeguards her reign.