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
As we saw in Dr Strangelove, Peter Sellers is extremely adept and talented at playing many roles. However, in this lame and unfunny comedy, he literally falls flat on his (many) face(s).
(For those not in UK, 'Allo, 'Allo is a long-running British family comedy series, set in a Belgian war-time town and occupied by the Germans.)
It might be due to the winds of time and the changing tastes in comedy, but as someone who would have very young at this film's release, I didn't laugh once, neither at the jokes nor the visual slapstick.
Sure, this send-up of everything second world war (Sellers plays all the world leaders, it seems) could have provided many comedy highlights but at times it's just painfully embarrassing. The dodgy accents either grate or annoy. I found the 'story' impossible to follow, assuming there actually was one and within half an hour had lost interest and only followed it to the end for reviewing purposes.
The oft nude working girls of the 1940's Paris-set brothel made this an X-certificate novelty back 40 years ago and today, the toplessness a mere '12' certificate. These are pleasant distractions for the average male viewer of course but the novelty soon wears off and soon we are amidst the awful masks that Sellers wears to turn himself 'Japanese'. Even though the film runs for 90 minutes, it seems far longer.
There's also a young-ish Timothy West as a Cardinal and Curt Jurgens as an SS Officer.
This may remain Peter Sellers' single worse film. He made some truly great ones, this is the exact opposite.
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