Helden is a village in a remote, forgotten Tyrolean valley. It is a place where honurable, old-fashioned codes of behaviour have survived unscathed, a place where, in spite of his love for her, the decent poacher Max would not dream of standing in the way of impoverished Emma's marriage to the avaricious mayor's rich son. Time has indeed stood still in Helden; it boasts a village priest, Johannes, who is still able to move his congregation to storms of enthusiasm, a village elder who has seen no less than 300 summers and even a village idiot who reads Proust. But the major threatens to bring the idyll to an abrupt end with his plans to sell off the untouched village to tourism. Naturally our hero Max fells obliged to take up the fight and protect his home from such injustice. Not surprisingly, Emma sides with Max and, having averted the major's plans and saving the village from misfortune, Max is at last able to claim his beloved Emma for his bride.