In this comedy, set during the Nazi occupation of France, Peter Sellers plays most major male parts, so he stars in nearly every scene, always bumbling in inspector Clouseau-style. As ... See full summary »
In this comedy, set during the Nazi occupation of France, Peter Sellers plays most major male parts, so he stars in nearly every scene, always bumbling in inspector Clouseau-style. As British Major Robinson he is hidden in Madame Grenier's Parisian brothel, right under the nose of the Nazi clients, such as Gestapo agent Herr Schroeder (again him). As Général Latour he leads the French resistance, which includes the brothel madam -made a colonel in charge of her sexy 'troops'- and a priest, and is joined by young US diplomat Alan Cassidy. As Japanese imperial Prince Kyoto he becomes a target for the resistance in a monastery on his way to Hitler (again him). At the end he decorates the heroes as French president. Written by
What I find interesting about this rather domestic small budget film (made at a time when Sellers's box office clout was at its lowest) is the fact that, yes Sellers plays six different characters, however the film is not saturated with him. In fact Sellers blends in remarkably to the rest of the film.
Although I wouldn't necessarily call this film a comedy, there are some funny little bits in it, its strikes me more as a delightful war-time adventure story.
In my opinion, the main focal point of this film is brothel owner Madame Grenier and her girls and their work for the French Resistance in occupied France. Sellers plays a whole host of characters around this central plot point and comes across far more as a counter-point to the action of Mme Grenier and her girls instead of screaming "Peter Sellers film Peter Selers film!" In his roles, he's also playing rather straight, not pushing for laughs, unlike his rather outrageous and dominating roles in the Pink Panther films.
All in all, this British-made film is rather domestic in feel, not a big budget, and while it's enjoyable if you happen to come across it on cable one day, but don't be prepared to be knocked out.
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