After The Fox

In DVD/Blu-ray by Samuel Love

In a career packed with iconic films like The Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove and The Ladykillers, choosing a favourite Peter Sellers film is a difficult task. A dark horse competitor is the criminally underrated After The Fox, a satirical laugh-fest penned by Neil Simon and directed by celebrated Italian director Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves). Finally released in the UK on Blu-ray courtesy of BFI, there’s no better time to chase the Fox again…

This madcap comedy caper follows Aldo ‘The Fox’ Vanucci (Sellers), a world-famous criminal mastermind looking for his next big score. Tasked with smuggling the priceless Gold of Cairo into Europe, The Fox comes up with a plan to pose as a film director and bring the gold ashore in Italy as part of a scene in an avant-garde film, pretending it is simply a prop in a heist film.

What follows is a biting satire on 1960s filmmaking, skewering pompous directors (director De Sica even lampoons himself in a cameo) and the pretentiousness of all aspects of the industry, from the creators to the critics. Victor Mature turns in a hilarious career-best performance as has-been matinee idol Tony Powell, a thinly-veiled pastiche of himself. But this being a 1960s Peter Sellers comedy, you can also expect all the usual madcap slapstick that audiences came to expect from the beloved funnyman!

After The Fox is one of the funniest comedies of the 1960s and Peter Sellers’ finest hour. Self-aware and satirical, the film is a timeless yet biting love letter to the pomposity of the movies.

BFI’s new Blu-ray release boasts a sparkling high definition transfer of the film, a wonderful selection of special features including a new interview with star Britt Ekland and an informative illustrated booklet.