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Filippo Costa, a young tax policeman of modest social origins nurtures enormous ambition which isolates him from his colleagues and his background. He initially aspires to climbing the ladder of the career he has chosen for himself, however, when he comes face to face with corruption he realises that he can set his sights much higher. In his unstoppable social climbing, he is helped by Caterina, a woman who is older than him, beautiful, cultured, elegant, very wealthy and very much in love. Thanks to her, Filippo rubs shoulders with many high-powered financiers and so begins his ascent of the prestigious, social and financial ladder. To avoid being crushed by the cynical rules of that world, Filippo is forced to abandon all trace of human or moral scruple.