A Wonderful Slapstick Comedy
B. J Robbins | La Quinta, CA United States | 09/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is so much to brag about in this movie it is hard to know where to start.
First, Peter Sellers, probably the most talented film comedian of his generation, gives a bravura performance as a professional crook, Aldo Venucci, trying to make one last big score, The Gold of Cairo. His performance is so nuanced, hysterical (with the Italian accent) and real, that he really IS the movie. I say that not to disparage the rest of the cast, who are all wonderful.
Second, the totally whacky script by Neil Simon is original, and so full of funny lines that come at you so fast, that you are in serious danger of your sides splitting if you don't pause the video in places!!!
Victor Mature, playing an over the hill actor who doesn't think he is, and Marty Balsam, his suspicious and totally exasperated agent, who tries to convince him that he is not as young as he thinks, are a terrific team and have their own comic chemistry.
Seller's wife at the time, Britt Eckland, plays Sellers' sister, a star struck young woman who dreams of being an actress. She is very good in her part.
Akim Tamiroff, whose character stole the Gold of Cairo originally, adds a touch of Middle Eastern flavor and mystery to the movie. (Men ... dig his sister. What a babe!)
There are some nicely placed barbs at the movies of Antonioni,
(there is one scene where they just chase each other, Eckland and Mature). When the agent (Balsam) asks the meaning of the whole thing,the director, Sellers, replies "No matter how fast you run, you can't run away from yourself." The Mature character throws a kiss at him and responds, "Brilliant!" If you've seen some Antonioni movies, you'll understand the satire.
It is impossible to pick out one best scene, but one of my favorites is when Mature, Balsam, and Sellers meet in his hotel room to discuss to proposed movie, and Sellers receives a phone call. "Oh hello Sophia. My darling I told you there is no part in my new picture for you ... Sophia please, you are getting hysterical ..." At this point, he hands the phone to Marty Balsam and asks him to calm her down. He gets on the phone, and the next shot is in a phone booth, where one of Sellers' cohorts is on the phone. When Balsam, comes on he hurriedly hangs up. Well, you have to see it. But the whole scene is hilarious.
If you are a Peter Sellers fan, love great comedy, you must have this film. I've viewed it countless times and it just gets funnier and funnier."
"Hey, They're Making a Movie!"
Linda McDonnell | Brooklyn, U.S.A | 03/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So scream the peasant housewives of Savalio when they see Peter Sellers aka Federico Fabrizi aka Aldo Vanucci and his goons setting up their tripod to shoot close-ups of Britt Ekland, Aldo's star-struck sister Gina.The plan? To be able to land a stolen shipment of gold and get it unloaded on an Italian beachfront. And what better way to do this than convince an entire town that they are going to be extras in your movie about a shipment of gold? Master thief Sellers hatches the plan while watching an old Tony Powell (Victor Mature) movie while in disguise as a cavalliere--he has to be in disguise, since his daring prison break at the picture's outset. So of the course, the logical step is to get a movie star in the ersatz picture, one like Tony Powell, who is such a has-been that he'll be in anything that allows him to flash his ivories and wear his trademark trenchcoat. Comedic situations abound as the "filming" progresses.Sellers does a great job of pretending to be a dubbed-in Italian actor, but the real standout is Victor Mature, throwing caution to the wind and his reputation out the window as he sinks his formidable teeth into the role of the aging matinee idol. Intent on one more leading man role, now in a new wave foreign film, he constantly bucks the better advice of his agent, the exasperated Martin Balsam.It seems like I've seen this movie all my life; the whole family can recite scenes verbatim. Mark my words; if you see this movie, the same will happen to yours!"
Sellers was a comic genius
Abhik Roy | San Jose, CA United States | 08/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am only 22 years old. My father introduced me to Seller's comedies and after his passing away, i have now begun to realize why he loved his movies so much. This movie is simply nothing but one hilarious scene after another (i've seen it more than 5 times), not to mention the music is fabulous and goes along perfectly with every scene. Seller's girlfriend is quite a hottie and I always can remember the first scene when she bears it all for the gold. Quite a body she's got under that Burqa. Sellers was really one of the best comedians in English cinema. This isn't slapstick like Jerry Lewis folks, but a kind of unique comedy that takes a little time to come into your senses. I have seen most of Seller's movies and i love them all. thank you to such a great star who's no longer with us."
A hillarious movie
Nathan | the San Francisco Bay Area | 06/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic Peter sellers film. Personally, I think it's the best of all his movies. Every time you watch it you see or hear something new. When he cries out in anguish "Arrgh...If only I could steal enough to become an honest man!"When he promises his crying mother that he will take care of her and buy her a new house with shiny pots and pans, and she replies, sobbing..."I don't want pots and pans...I want Grandchildren"The aging Victor Mature exclaiming indignantly, "I still have the pupils of a young boy"Some of the lines and background scenes you catch the first time...Some you won't catch until the 4th time you watch it.The music to this film is by Burt Bacharach and is filled with tunes that stay with you long after the movie is done. The landing of the gold and the Italian Police are just 2 of the tunes that set the stage for the action.Buy it, make some popcorn, and sit down to a funny movie you can watch over and over again. And watch for a cameo by Vittorio Di Sica."