The Secret of Santa Vittoria is a 1969 film produced by Metro Goldwyn Mayer, and distributed by United Artists. It was produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and co-produced by George Glass from a screenplay by Ben Maddow and William Rose. It was based on the best-selling novel by Robert Crichton. The music score was by Ernest Gold and the cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno.
The film stars Anthony Quinn, Anna Magnani, Virna Lisi, Hardy Kruger, and Sergio Franchi. It also features Renato Rascel, Giancarlo Giannini, and Eduardo Ciannelli; with Valentina Cortese making an uncredited appearance. It was almost entirely shot on location in Anticoli Corrado, Italy (near Rome).
During World War II in the summer of 1943, in the aftermath of the fall of the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, the German army uses the ensuing political vacuum to occupy most of the peninsula of Italy.
Italo Bombolini (Anthony Quinn), the mayor of the wine-making hill town of Santa Vittoria, learns that the German occupation forces want to take all of Santa Vittoria’s wine with them. The townspeople frantically hide a million bottles in a cave before the arrival of a German army detachment under the command of Sepp Von Prum (Hardy Kruger).
The Germans are given a few thousand bottles, but Von Prum knows there is a lot more. The two very different men engage in a battle of wits. Finally, with time running out, a frustrated Von Prum threatens to shoot Bombolini unless the hidden wine is given up, but no one speaks. Not being a fanatic, Von Prum leaves without harming the mayor.