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ased on Nikolai Gogol's story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present (1952), the story is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose only desire is for a new overcoat. The town Mayor (Giulio Stival) is planning a reception for some visiting VIP's in honor of a new, wasteful piece of construction. The clerk bungles his assignment and is fired. But he stumbles onto some bribery concerning the architects and, to keep him quiet, he's given his job back plus a bonus. He buys his long-cherished overcoat, and it makes him so presentable he wins newly-found respect from everybody. But his coat is stolen and the bitter weather causes him to contact a fever and he dies. His funeral upsets the Mayor's reception when he returns as a ghost.

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