Jean, the servant of the currently absent count, and the cook Kristin with whom Jean has a relationship, are confronted in the kitchen of the manor with Miss Julie, the count's young daughter, during midsummer night.
Julie leaves no doubt about her dominance in the house and imposes her juvenile-naive-whimsical will on them. Her erotic play with Jean poses an increasing dilemma for the respective servant: whether he shall commit to his values, to his master the count as well as to his companion Kristin or follow his pursuit of advancement, reputation and wealth. Julie's power game without any hidden agenda evolves to a search for love and security, whereas Jean after an initial phase of resistance is meaning to turn the situation to his advantage by exploiting Julie's soft spot for him. The subsequent sex act completely disequilibrates the setting - perfectly according to Jean's plan.
Julie's abrupt disenchantment and painful shame as well as her funds keenly awaited by Jean bring the latter to suggest to take flight together with Julie.
With Kristin having finally discovered their escape plan Julie desperately tries to convince Kristin to come along.
But time flies and Kristin remains stubborn not willing to participate, she even wants to sabotage their plan. The count returns early and Julie cannot help escaping her misery and shame by committing suicide.
How far can you go to reach a goal? Which values can you abandon in order to achieve that? Is it true that every means is justified by its end?