This was the first Italian feature film shot in Moscow. It was directed by the renowned Vittorio De Sica and produced by Carlo Ponti. Sophia Loren stars as Giovanna, an Italian woman who marries Antonio 12 days before the outbreak of World War II. Antonio has no desire to fight in the conflict. He fakes insanity to try to avoid the draft, but officials see through the charade. Antonio is sent to the Russian front, where the soldiers are plagued by freezing temperatures and short supplies of rations. He is found half-dead in the cold by a Russian peasant girl, Mascia. She takes him in, and eventually, they marry. Giovanna waits in vain for word on the fate of her husband, who is officially declared missing in action. She goes to Russia to try to find him, searching records and cemeteries. Finally, she discovers first his new wife, then him, and reluctantly decides not to fight the situation. Returning home to Italy, she marries an older factory worker, Ettore, and they have a son. Antonio still longs for Giovanna, and he returns to Italy to discuss a reconciliation with her.