One of the best movies ever made
stephen d huffman | Alexandria, LA United States | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my humble opinion this is one of the best movies ever made.Of course it is a funny movie - Peter Sellers is a genius, but this picture is art, and literature as well. The story, the casting, all excellent.Waltz of the Toreadors is a brilliant metaphor for this story - man without God, stuck in a dizzying dance of his own passions and fears. Life can be wonderful, and yet troubling and depressing. This movie explores the great question - what is the meaning of life? Is it "the urge - because life without the urge is unthinkable." Can the soul be satisfied? This is a serious movie, yet wholly entertaining and funny. The theme is for adults, although the movie is clean with regard to language. I recommend this movie to you."
A very satisfying film
Steve Demion | Peekskill, New York United States | 09/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very enjoyable film. It's both a comedy and a drama. Peter Sellers gives a wonderful performance which binds the film together. It was adapted from a play by Jean Anouilh (remember Becket?), and it's a very enjoyable film. But I have a single caveat - there are some early parts of the film where you may be disappointed by the dramatic nature of the plot, but if you just keep watching, you'll find a film that's both funny and moving - and there aren't many of those! I think the ending must be the most touching of any of Sellers' films."
Sufficient wit at the expense of imagination.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 02/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based quite loosely upon a play of the same name by Jean Anouilh, this film has been designed not merely as a showcase for the oversize comedic talent of Peter Sellers, but also, due to excessive producer interference, as a sex farce where character predominates over language, after the manner of a well-wrought and linear work of theatre. A droll script by Wolf Mankowitz transposes the action from post World War II France to early 20th century Sussex, arranging the characters in the story-propelled manner of the playwright, whose intensive exploration of the spirit becomes increasingly prominent as the work runs its course, greatly assisted by sensitive performances from Sellers, as the libidinous General Leo Fitzjohn, and by Margaret Leighton as Emily, his suffering wife. The plot spirals about the freshly retired General Fitzjohn and his longwhile Gallic inamorata, Ghislaine (Dany Robin) who have, as seen in a series of flashbacks, never been able to complete their love, but who are apparently finally going to be able to do so; that is, if a series of latter-day obstacles might be overcome. The picture is directed smoothly by John Guillermin, and there are excellent performances from Cyril Cusack as Dr. Grogan, the General's best friend, and John Fraser as a naive subaltern assigned to Fitzjohn, while a magnificent score is contributed by Richard Addinsell, one of his best for the screen, notable for its unreserved use of a minor key to accompany romantic and comic events. Unlike his Absurdist contemporaries, Anouilh never abandoned a sense of existential despair throughout his dramas, and this production succeeds in creating tension between Fitzjohn's sense of loss of place and his ability to forge forward after his natural urges, as evidenced by the delicious ending.