The arrival of Countess Ellen Olenska in the New York of the 1870s
creates a stir in high society, challenging rigid conventions and
hypocritical respectability. Glamorous and strong-willed, she
causes scandal and embarrassment when she decides to free herself
of an unhappy marriage by divorcing her husband. Greatly
disapproved of by her family, she can only count on the support of
her cousin’s fiancé, Newland Archer, who falls in love with her and
tries to persuade her to start a new life together with him.