The film is based on the play by Alexander Ostrovsky “Without a Dowry”. The action takes place on the banks of the Volga in the fictional provincial town of Bryakhimov in 1877-1878. Harita Ignatyevna Ogudalova, a noblewoman of a good and respected family, a widow with three adult daughters, became impoverished after her husband’s death, but she does everything to arrange her daughters' life and marry them to sufficiently rich and noble grooms. In the absence of funds, she keeps an open house, hoping that a society of beautiful and musical young ladies will attract single men rich enough to marry loveless women. Kharita’s only “at a loose end” daughter is the youngest - Larisa Dmitrievna Ogudalova, who is not indifferent to several wealthy gentlemen at once, among whom Sergey Sergeyevich Paratov is a handsome, charming, smarty, frivolous and rich gentleman.