Skipper Vollbeck leads a small group of barges traveling down the Havel from Berlin to Waren. To meet his debtors' demands, he loaded his ship with cement almost beyond its capability to carry. Horst, the skipper of one of the other boats, and Vollbeck's son Kalle both fall in love with the older skipper's niece Anna, who joined the journey. Eventually, she chooses Kalle and they marry, after the barges manage to make it to Waren.
Alfred Maack as Heinrich Borchert
Erika Dunkelmann as Marie
Götz George as Karl 'Kalle'
Gustav Püttjer as Herrmann Vollbeck
Maria Häussler as Anne Vollbeck
Kurt Schmidtchen as Ernst
Horst Naumann as Horst Richter
Uwe Torsten as Buttje
Elfie Dugal as lady
Waltraud Kogel as the assistant
Alice Prill as secretary
The film was one of the more light-hearted DEFA productions of the second half of the 1950s, created after a wave of highly ideological films were negatively received by the public. According to author Heinz Kersten, it had only "a modest saying on the matters of society" and was "entertainment". It was Götz George's first major role on the screen.
The West German Catholic Film Service described the film as "having several clumsy moments. Generally, an undemanding piece of entertainment." The World Stage newspaper's critic dubbed as "dramatically dull."