Based on story by Ivan Shmelev.
The movie action starts very close before February democratic revolution in Russia in 1917.
Fate is cruel to waiter of capital city restaurant Skorohodov: his son dies on front, hi...展开s wife perishes from grief, his daughter is excluded from grammar school because of lack of money to pay tuition.
Skorohodov decides to rent one of rooms in his poor apartment to a decent young man named Sokolin who is working as a courier in war industry committee .
The lodger and a girl fall in love with each other and soon decide to get married.
In meantime the father appoints his daughter as a violiinist in restaurant orchestra.
But rich factory owner Karasev rudely molests young blonde violinist and through blackmail expects to make her his mistress.
"I got to work on this topic, because it provides an opportunity to identify fully human in those individuals, which by virtue of the previous social and political system was outside of society, was not considered the men, and all these persons who carouse and flush did not know and did not want to know, that not mannequins in evening dress, not "men" serves their tables, but people".－－Yakov Protazanov, 1927