In WWII Italy, a recently married soldier (Marcello Mastroianni) is sent to the Russian front. When he doesn't return after the war is over, his wife (Sophia Loren) goes to Russia to track him down. Directed by Vittorio De Sica (BICYCLE THIEVES), this deceptively simple melodrama might seem another movie romance with a tearjerker finale on the surface but it's a heartbreaking look on the effect war has on both the soldier and the civilian. It's no startling revelation that war leaves its scars but by using a romantic relationship as its core, De Sica reveals the specificity of those wounds. The chemistry between Loren and Mastroianni is potent (they made 17 films together) and Loren did her best work as an actress when she worked with De Sica (he directed her in 8 films) and she gives a lovely performance here. I've seen this several times and film's final minutes get my tear ducts flowing every time. This was the first western film to be filmed in the Soviet Union. The Oscar nominated score is by Henry Mancini. With Lyudmila Saveleva (WAR AND PEACE) and Anna Carena as Mastroianni's mother.