When we reflect on the great Peter Sellers' comedic performances we might, understandably, first think of Blake Edwards' PINK PANTHER movies, of his performances in the early dark comedies of Stanley Kubrick, and of his seriocomic turn in BEING THERE.
But there is a Peter Sellers film that is not only a tour-de-force of comic acting, but also a loving satire of the Italian film industry. This film is written by the dream team of Neil Simon (THE ODD COUPLE, BAREFOOT IN THE PARK, SWEET CHARITY and Cesare Zavattini (BICYCLE THIEVES, SHOESHINE, TWO WOMAN), and directed by the great master Vittorio De Sica.
Sellers plays a master thief, "the Fox," who, despite being a criminal mastermind, is still a Mama's boy through and through. He also has a beautiful sister, played by Sellers' real-life girlfriend Britt Ekland, of whose virtue the Fox is zealously protective. When an opportunity arises to steal a fortune, the Fox poses as an eccentric Italian movie director, engages a crew and cast (led by the surprisingly hilarious American leading man Victor Mature), and goes "on location" in a rural fishing village.
Here's a Trailers From Hell commentary from ED WOOD screenwriter Larry Karaszewski, an avowed lover of the film.