Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward star as a well-off couple who raise their children in the comfort of country club society, only to find their control over the family's fate slipping away. Daughter Ruth leaves for the artistic bohemia of New York, more conventional Carolyn marries the awrong sort of man, and brother Douglas joins the army. In an empty house, the Bridges' marriage shifts. Mr. Bridge grows more rigid. But Mrs. Brige becomes more vulnerable and searching as she begins to wonder if her husband really loves her.