Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Two opposite military camps, one Italian and one American, are positioned across from each other in Sicily, separated by a river and an ancient Roman bridge, the "Bridge of the Caesars." World War II has almost ended and so perhaps the fighting spirit has dwindled a little in the ordinary soldier. This would explain why each team of demolitionists -- Italian and American -- decide that the historically valuable bridge is worth saving at all costs. The American team is made up of a cowboy, a Native American specializing in smoke signals, a narcoleptic soldier, a Mafia hit man, and an architect. The Italian team is made up of a chamber-music quartet headed by an orchestra conductor and comprised of a lazy Roman, a Southern mobster, and an Alpine mountain climber, among others. The teams assume a proper bellicose stance when they first see each other, but then quickly collude to outwit their commanders and try to save the bridge. When the overzealous American commander is ready to destroy the bridge at all costs, the soldiers connive to bring in a bevy of women from a nearby house of ill-repute to keep the men too occupied to even remember the bridge. Failing any other plan, the leaders of each team then decide to convince the American commander that the war has actually ended, and so there is every reason to leave the bridge alone, in fact, just to leave, period. And if that plan does not work either, well, there must be something else they can do . . .
against-all-odds, architecture, bridge [structure], conductor [music], cowboy, gangster, mountain-climbing, music, Native-American, soldier, territory