Steiger plays the infamous Italian dictator in this realistic view of the few days preceding his execution. Four groups are hunting him: the Nazis, who want to get him out of Italy; the Allies, who want to try him as a war criminal; the provincial Italian government; and the Italian freedom
fighters. Steiger gives a wonderful portrayal of the Il Duce's inner confusion and conflict. Lizzani's direction shows the opposing factions in a well-balanced light.