Intent on mimicking the lusty hedonism portrayed in a popular novel of the day, wealthy arms dealer Harry Laird (Horst Buchholz) and his seductive mistress Pauline (Valérie Kaprisky) invite unsuspecting guests to a Mediterranean island retreat in 1914. Soon, all inhibitions are released as the guests surrender to their primal instincts -- until the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo brings them back to a world on the brink of war.

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