Major Ernest Pettigrew is the embodiment of the British phrase "stiff upper lip." A widower living in the small village of Edgecomb St. Mary in the bucolic British countryside, the Major is a staunch traditionalist, trying valiantly to instill his honorable values of duty and honor in his son, Roger. Without much success, however. But his idyllic world is about to be turned upside down. His brother has just died, and his son and sister-in-law are pressuring him to sell a pair of very valuable Churchill shotguns given to his father by the Maharajah for his courageous military service. Lord Dagenham is broke and is about to sell off his ancestral estate of Edgecomb St. Mary to greedy American developers. And the Major has fallen in love with an Indian widow who is a local shopkeeper. That should make a few ripples in the tranquil waters of Edgecomb St. Mary society!