Wing-commander Tim Mason leads a squadron of Lancaster bombers on almost nightly raids from England. Having flown eighty-seven missions he will shortly be retiring from flying, but the strain is showing. He tries to make sure his men concentrate only on their job and so keeps women away from the base, but then he himself meets naval officer Eve Canyon.
Vittorio De Sica plays the middle-aged marshal Antonio Carotenuto of the Carabinieri in a remote fictional Italian mountain village named Sagliena (actually the village of Castel San Pietro Romano, in Lazio).
The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne'er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.
A New York sculptor who opens a wax museum to showcase the likenesses of famous historical figures runs into trouble with his business partner, who demands that the exhibits become more extreme in order to increase profits.