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After the Fox

Americo-Brito-Italian comedy by Neil Simon, wherein Peter Sellers, yet again as a criminal plotting an elaborate robbery, gets to try out endless disguises, mainly as a new-wave film director (the film itself was directed by Vittorio ‘Bicycle Thieves’ Di Sica) pretending to shoot his masterpiece, which provides cover for his gold-smuggling operation. Victor Mature steps in for a bit of hair-dyed self-parody as an ageing Hollywood star, and Britt Ekland gets to shout at Sellers. The theme this time is by Bacharach and David, performed by The Hollies, with Sellers joining in for bits of spoken word in-character drollery (“Me is a thief!”) Uniquely, it even manages to turn its lack of a cohesive plot into a virtue, by dint of a bizarre, throwaway ending gag – “My God! The wrong man has escaped!”

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  1. I am Aldo Vanucci!

    March 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Seriously underrated this one, especially Victor Mature. Peter Sellers is great, even Britt Ekland is really good in this, but Vic isn’t just funny, he makes your heart break a little at the end when his movie star sees what an idiot he’s been. It’s a strange way to end with everyone utterly disillusioned but that crazy punchline lifts it a bit. Love the music, too.

  2. Gareth James

    March 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Couldn’t agree more – very funny and doesn’t seem to have been shown in recent years on telly (awaits response pointing out it was on BBC2 on Saturday), unlike the truly awful The Wrong Box from the same year, which despite presence of Pete and Dud, Hancock, Wilfred Lawson and Sellars, is about as amusing as The War Game (although Sellars is very funny in his brief scenes).

  3. lump516

    April 25, 2012 at 2:16 am

    The director deSica was aiming at most obviously in the film was Pasolini, (very big on sunglasses, the better to watch under-aged street kids through). Great score by Burt Bacharach. An amusing side-note about the theme song is that Sellers’ spoken lines were produced separately from the Hollies musical contribution by George Martin. This was the beginning of Sllers’ crazy-making period that sent his career off the rails for several years.

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