|AFTER THE FOX (CACCIA ALLA VOLPE) (director: Vittorio De Sica; screenwriters: from the Neil Simon play "After the Fox"/Neil Simon/Cesare Zavattini; cinematographer: Leonida Barboni; editors: Russell Lloyd/; music: Burt Bacharach; cast: Peter Sellers (Aldo Vanucci), Britt Ekland (Gina Romantica), Martin Balsam (Harry Granoff), Victor Mature (Tony Powell), Akim Tamiroff (Okra), Lydia Brazzi (Mamma Vanucci), Lando Buzzanca (Police Chief) , Paola Stoppa (Polio), Tino Buazzelli (Siepi), Maurice Denham (Chief of Interpol); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Bryan; United Artists;1966-UK/Italy-in English )|
|"Most of the stabs at satire miss
the mark by a wide margin."
by Dennis Schwartz
uneven and bizarre farce. The comedy never fully
gets going, but retains enough whacky features that
still draw it to cult fans. Wearing many different
disguises (doctor, priest,
policeman and a New Wave movie director)
becomes Peter Sellers main bid to get laughs. The
humor seems forced and strained, which can possibly
be blamed on the poor teaming of the ethnic Jewish
writer Neil Simon and the neo-realist Italian writer
Cesare Zavattini. Their talents don't mesh
when working together.
De Sica ("Miracle in Milan"/"Umberto
D"/"Bicycle Thieves") directs as if befuddled by his
characters, whom he never makes likable. Most of the
stabs at satire miss the mark by a wide margin. What's
amazing is despite the presence of the international
English star Peter Sellers, noted American writer Neil
Simon and honored Italian director Vittorio
DeSica, all acclaimed talents, the pic still
Vanucci (Peter Sellers),
called the Fox, is a master thief imprisoned in Italy,
who breaks out of jail to save the honor of his
younger sister Gina (Britt Ekland).
Tracking her down on the streets of Rome as an actress
shooting a film, he dons priestly attire to drag her
home to save her soul from being in movies. Aldo then
successfully robs gold bullion worth three
million dollars from a security van in Cairo and smuggles
the gold into Rome. His scheme involves pretending to
direct a movie, after stealing the equipment from a
movie Vittorio De Sica was directing.
Aldo's movie is filmed on the Italian
seacoast, and all the village locals and the police
chief (Lando Buzzanca)
are in it. The script calls for the extras to carry
the gold ashore from boats.
Victor Mature steals the film in the 'film within the film' as the vain aging American actor trying to re-live his past glory days, as he performs in the fake movie in a beefcake role. Martin Balsam is Mature's excitable agent; Akim Tamiroff is the thief who stole the movie equipment now used by Sellers.
REVIEWED ON 4/17/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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