An inside look at Italy’s modern-day crime families, the Camorra in Naples and Caserta. Based on a book by Roberto Saviano. Power, money and blood: these are the “values” that the residents of the Province of Naples and Caserta have to face every day. They hardly ever have a choice and are forced to obey the rules of the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a normal life.
During World War I, commanding officer General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou) orders his subordinate, General Mireau (George Macready), to attack a German trench position, offering a promotion as an incentive. Though the mission is foolhardy to the point of suicide, Mireau commands his own subordinate, Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas), to plan the attack. When it ends in disaster, General Mireau demands the court-martial of three random soldiers in order to save face.
Antonio, an unemployed man in the depressed post-WWII economy of Italy, at last finds a good job hanging up posters, the only requirement for which is that he must have his own bicycle. When Antonio’s bicycle is stolen, he and his son are forced to walk the streets of Rome in search of it, or else face ruin.