Heston felt comfortable in Rome, having been there when he played Ben Hur. That had to have been the reasoning behind the title, to plant the Roman/Heston image in the audience's mind. Shavelson and Rose had just finished their splendid partnership, and Shavelson made this his first solo
effort. But Heston in a comedy just doesn't wash. It's 1944, and Mussolini has already been killed with mistress Clara Petacci in Milan. Heston and his assistant, Guardino, are smuggled into Rome, a city still occupied by the Fascists. Their job is to investigate and report on troop movements, but
they are ill suited for that kind of work, having no training in it whatsoever. They ...