A cosmetic salesman sets out to prove to himself and his wife that he is not a failure.A cosmetic salesman sets out to prove to himself and his wife that he is not a failure.A cosmetic salesman sets out to prove to himself and his wife that he is not a failure.
The film begins with a working man (Todd) leaving work--only to discover that his car's been stolen. He goes to the police but after a couple days there doesn't appear to be any chance he'll get it back--and it's not insured. Todd is a very mild-mannered man and not the sort you'd expect to do anything about the crime, but his car is needed for his job and he won't let it rest. So, he starts trying to find leads on his own--and repeatedly he nearly gets himself killed. Yet, for once this mild-mannered man is NOT going to just back down--he will follow this as far as he can and the consequences be damned. Through the course of Todd's investigations, the trail leads to a truly horrible man (Sellers). On the surface, Sellers seems sophisticated and mild-mannered himself. However, he is a very violent bully--and this comes out with the least provocation. What's to happen next? Tune in to this excellent film to see for yourself--just be forewarned...it's amazingly brutal for 1960--so brutal the Brits gave it what is equivalent to a restricted rating!
As I said, Sellers is at his best here. Wearing bulky clothes (and perhaps lifts to make him look taller), he looks beefier and plays a great heavy. His violent and sadistic routine is mesmerizing--and it was hard to believe this is the same guy who made a career out of making people laugh. Here, he's malevolent and cruel--and very effective. Now all this does NOT mean Todd isn't quite good as well--he is. But even in turning in a dandy performance himself, he is overshadowed by the malevolent Sellers. The sum effect of both of them is quite compelling--making a simple and inexpensive film much better than you'd ever expect. If you like to see excellent acting and characters, then see this one.
- Nov 21, 2011