It’s all based on a true story. A young soldier named Eric Newby gets captured as a POW during World War II. The location of his prison is in Italy, which he manages to escape from. Trying to keep one step ahead of the hunting Nazis is difficult, but it’s even more so when Eric falls in love with a local Italian girl named Wanda. Now his risk to stay alive and evade the battlefields is a grave secret for everyone involved, for either he should surrender himself and save his civilian allies from enemy repercussions or keep the people he loves in constant mortal peril. But how can anyone be forced to choose between love and war?
In Love and War is based on an autobiographical novel by the main character. The plot is set much later in modern times: a British soldier happens to find the love of his life in a time of war and pain. Wanda is a very brave and headstrong young woman who teaches Eric her language, lets him into her life, and shows him the hidden attractions of Italy. Eric not only gains the friendship of truly caring and warm people throughout his escape but also learns to appreciate the home he has involuntarily found in an unfamiliar country.
With a lovely score, dazzling country panoramas, and two very attractive lead actors, In Love and War shows no real warfare but only the war fought by those who didn’t instigate it: the civilians who had to suffer through the consequences of a few power-hungry tyrants fighting for world domination. Eric and Wanda’s romance is a bit passionate and exuberant in comparison to the overall tones of the film, but it somehow fits into the general attitudes of the Italians Eric meets. Even though Eric does have to endure the horrors of World War II to find freedom, he gains his heart’s desire in the end and In Love and War gains a realistic love story in the midst of global heartache.