Summer 1943: Benito Mussolini’s Fascist government has fallen and the German army has occupied most of Italy – bad news indeed for the sleepy little hill-town of Santa Vittoria, where life revolves around the making (and consumption) of wine. But buffoonish town mayor Italo Bombolini (Anthony Quinn) has devised a cunning plan. Knowing that the Germans intend to seize their wine, Bombolini and the townspeople stash some one million bottles in a secret cave shortly before German army commander Capt. von Prum (Hardy Krüger) and his forces take over the town. Von Prum, however, is not fooled when Bombolini tries to palm him off with a few thousand bottles. So starts a battle of wills between these two wily adversaries as Bombolini enlists every trick in the book to keep the town’s treasure out of enemy hands while simultaneously dodging the marital brickbats thrown by his fiery wife, Rosa (Anna Magnani).