The hat, the mysterious hat, "shiny as satin and belted with a magenta sash," landed on the bald head of Benito Badoglio. "'Don't shoot, I surrender!'" shouted the penniless old soldier. "To his surprise the hat popped out of his hands ... and performed a little dance. 'Thunder of Sebastopole! ... That hat is alive!'" Truly, the hat is marvelously animated, and there follows a series of picaresque adventures: Benito--with the help of the hat--smokes a band of brigands from their den. Benito--with the help of the hat--saves a hapless infant from the careless conflagration caused by a dashing cadet. And Benito--with the help of the hat--wins a fair lady. But, having won all, he loses the hat, which once again drifts mysteriously over the rooftops of the city. Set in a never-never land that looks like nineteenth-century Italy, the comic-opera pictures [of The Hat] are full of mandolin-playing musicians, splashing fountains, and apple-cheeked peasant lasses. Always, too, there are Benito and the hat--their rise in fortune detailed down to the silver wheel that replaces the soldier's peg leg and enables him to roll through the country in style.