Antoinette is the Duchess of Langeais, a married coquette who frequents the most extravagant balls in 1820's Paris during The Restoration, where hypocrisy and vanity reign. Upon his first meeting with her, the handsome general Armand de Montriveau realizes it is true love from that moment on. Flattered by his attentions, the alluring Antoinette orchestrates a calculating game of seduction, but she repeatedly refuses Montriveau. Despite his sincere romantic declarations, Montriveau's passion remains unfulfilled. When the humiliated Montriveau eventually seeks his revenge, Antoinette's love awakens. But it may well be too late for the star-crossed lovers.