Whilst Hollywood has seemed to have had trouble,trying to make Christmas/New Years Day "event films" in a post-Lord of the Rings era (with the main exceptions being 2005s double bill of event films,with the first Narnia film,and King Kong fighting it out, lion v ape,and last years world conquering return of James Cameron,after thirteen years,with the sci-fi adventure epic Avatar.)
In the meantime,Bollywood has been turning the end of the year "event film",into a unstoppable juggernaut,with such films as the Mermento-inspired ultra-violence revenge thriller in Gujini,a gathering of (almost) every living Bollywood legend,in the fun reincarnation film Om Shanti Om,and a shockingly stunning mix of extremely strong writing,good casting,and an amazingly fast paced feel (even at a running time of over two and a half hours) with 2009s 3 Idiots.
Sadly,this great run got stopped in 2010.with the comedy "event" film Tees Maar Khan,whose characters were just that little bit too annoying for most audience members to be entertained by.When I started reading up about Tees Maar a few weeks before its release,and I found out that the movie wad going to be a remake of a film called After the Fox.Since I have enjoyed watching some of the other great films that Neil Simon has wrote,and having always been entertained by some of the film and radio work that Peter Sellers has done,I was very intrigued to see what type of film would be made,with both of them working together..
As news of a $3 million robbery of gold bars, reaches the ears of the (jailed) worlds best criminal Aldo "the Fox" Vanucci,He decides to tell the wardens that he is going to break out of the prison at 3pm!.With having stolen someones identity,Vanucci escapes the jail right under everybody's nose.
When he returns to his old home,he finds the person who has set up the robbery,who needs help to bring the gold into the country.Although both men are able to work out a deal (with Aldo getting 50% of the gold)Vanucci also has to deal with the trouble of his sister giving up school,so that she can become an actress.Luckaly for The Fox,when he is getting chased by some officers who want him for the prison escape,he hides at a film premiere.
Suddenly,a light bulb goes off in Aldos head,that if he pretends that he is a film director,making a film in a small town,he will be able to use all the local people and police offices to unwittingly help him transfer the gold!.Although,when he starts to make the film,The Fox realises that keeping his patients with the cast & crew might be even tougher then importing the gold...
View on the film:
Though the screenplay is not as strong as some of his later films,such as the excellent movie The Odd Couple,the first screenplay by Neil Simons is still filled with a good amount of fun material.
With,parts of the film (such as the scenes where The Fox is trying to get a faded Hollywood actor to star in his "avant-garde film.")showing some great signs of some of his future work.Whilst I was watching the film,one of the main scenes that instantly stuck out to me,was a scene where Aldo talks to the gold smuggle through the middle (wo)man,which I instantly recognised as something that was copied for the third Austin Powers film,although I think that Simons version of the joke is a lot stronger.
For the avant-garde false- film shooting,director Vittorio De Sica,impressively always makes it that the audience is laughing with the characters and there avant-garde film,and not at them,with De Sica making sure that the film does not turn into a totally bitter satire about the film industry.For the cast,I feel that whilst Peter Sellers gives a very good performance,of an oddly slightly centre character,the clear stand out is Victor Mature as the fading Hollywood star Tony.Mature impressively being far ahead of the self-mocking former major actors of the classic Larry Sanders Show,with his great grizzled performance, showing a very pleasing amount of surprising sincerity.
Final view on the film:
A fun- filled,slightly wacky film,with good performances,a well-written screenplay and extremely engaging directing form Vittorio De Sica