Nuremberg 1580: As the hangman of the free imperial city, Meister Frantz Schmidt is used to being avoided by society for fear of getting tainted by his dishonorable profession. Only the ailing believing in the executioner's special healing powers come to him. Then one of his patients is murdered and her maid Kathi becomes the main suspect. When Max, one of the city's archers, begs Frantz to help spare the girl from torture and his executioner's sword, the hangman's conscience rebels against the thought of inflicting pain on an innocent girl and possibly having to kill her. Frantz comes up with a scheme to keep the maid safe for a little while, but it's risky for him and his new allies.
Can Frantz deceive the council of Nuremberg and find the true murderer in time before he might be ordered to hang himself?