Fred Zinnemann's final film is a meditative examination of an illicit May-December romance, set in the mountain expanse of the Swiss Alps. Sean Connery plays Douglas, a middle-aged Scottish doctor on vacation in the Alps in 1932 with a beautiful and fresh-faced young woman, Kate (Betsy Brantley), whom he introduces as his wife. Douglas has taken Kate to the Alps to introduce her to the invigorating sport of mountain climbing. When Douglas and Kate arrive at the mountain lodge, their happiness is tempered by a knowing melancholy. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Kate has been madly in love with Douglas since she was a little girl and that she seduced him away from another woman. The flashbacks also reveal that Kate is not his wife, but his niece. But then, in their mountain retreat, young and handsome guide Johann (Lambert Wilson) makes an entrance. Johann immediately develops an attraction for Kate. Now Kate has to worry if the feeling is mutual.