Unlike many multistoried films of the 1950s, Gran Varieta is the handiwork of a single solitary director--though five writers collaborated on the screenplay. The film is divided into five separate playlets, all unified...展开by a "backstage" theme. In the first, Maria Fiore plays an aspiring singer who gets more than she bargains for upon attaining stardom. The second tale involves quick-change artist Alberto Sordi, who is successful in love only when he decides to be "himself". Carlo Croccolo stars in the third segment as a variety performer whose "soldier act" results in his early demise. The fourth (and best) story features Vittorio DeSica as a once-famous actor, now on the skids. Gran Varieta concludes with a satirical story about a fascist-government censor, played by Renato Rascal, who has his work cut out for him when he tries to clean up a girlie show.