Totò takes a comic look at the delicate theme of Italy’s participation in the Second World War and the turmoil that followed the armistice of September 8th, 1943. In the post-war years, this theme was understandably dealt with in a critical and highly dramatic way. But comedy, as Totò often affirmed, is also capable of depicting these moments with intelligence. Comencini proved this with Tutti a casa, released a few years previously, and it was reaffirmed by I due colonnelli. The film pairs two completely different styles of acting, managing to create a unique and effective combination. On one hand, Totò, the master of the variety-esque wise-crack, along with his trusty sidekick Nino Taranto; on the other hand, the composure of Hollywood actor Walter Pidgeon (greatly admired and personally chosen by Totò for the role). There was a risk that the two styles would clash, but Pidgeon was able to enter into the spirit of the film and perfectly play off the comic genius of Totò.
The Second World War. Italian Colonel Antonio Di Maggio and English Colonel Henderson are both fighting for control of a village on the Greek-Albanian border. At the same time, they are competing for the love of a beautiful young woman. The fortunes of war lead them to team up and become friends.