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Waltz of the Toreadors (1962)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 19 September 1962 (France)
This is the end of a glorious military career: General Leo Fitzjohn retires to his Sussex manor where he will write his memoirs. Unfortunately, his private life is a disaster: a confirmed ... See full summary »


John Guillermin


Jean Anouilh (play), Lucienne Hill (English translation) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Peter Sellers ... Gen. Leo Fitzjohn
Dany Robin ... Ghislaine
Margaret Leighton ... Emily Fitzjohn
John Fraser ... Lt. Robert Finch
Cyril Cusack ... Dr. Grogan
Prunella Scales ... Estella Fitzjohn
Denise Coffey Denise Coffey ... Sidonia Fitzjohn
Jean Anderson ... Agnes
Raymond Huntley ... Ackroyd, Court President
Cardew Robinson Cardew Robinson ... Midgley the Undertaker
John Glyn-Jones John Glyn-Jones ... Jenkins the Innkeeper
John Le Mesurier ... Rev. Grimsley
Vanda Godsell ... Mrs. Emma Bulstrode, Dress Shop Proprietor
Catherine Feller ... Rosemary, the young maid


This is the end of a glorious military career: General Leo Fitzjohn retires to his Sussex manor where he will write his memoirs. Unfortunately, his private life is a disaster: a confirmed womanizer, Leo has infuriated his wife Emily, now a shrewish and hypochondriac woman, all the more bitter as she still loves him. The General has two plain-looking daughters he dislikes and an attractive French mistress, Ghislaine, with whom he has had a platonic affair for seventeen years. When Ghislaine resurfaces, determined to complete her love with him and to get rid of Emily, Leo is at a loss what to do... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Old Soldiers Never Die...they just carry on...and on...and on...and on See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 September 1962 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Amorous General See more »

Filming Locations:

Sussex, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The names of many of the characters were changed for this film version of the play. See more »


Lt. Robert Finch: I want to give you much more than my cold, Ghislaine, honest.
See more »


Version of Der Walzer der Toreros (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

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9 July 2005 | by BrevitySee all my reviews

Forgive me again for being very uninformative and nitpicky. I'm unfamiliar with the play ("disastrously translated into English setting and characters" - Halliwell's) and I sure as hell can't discuss the author's oeuvre.

  • The photography is beautiful, if not entirely consistently so. I especially liked it during one of the heavier scenes involving Sellers and "wife".

  • There are some ugly flashback transitions.

  • "Fawlty"-heads will see a pre-Sybil Scales, if paying enough attention...

  • ... which can be relatively hard at times.

  • One notices how the actor who plays the innkeeper (John Glyn-Jones, further investigation shows) carries an enormous resemblance to the fine actor Richard Jenkins of "Six Feet Under" fame (or of "The Man Who Wasn't There" fame). Then, in his second and final scene, what is called out through some galloping if not "Mr. Jenkins!" Bizarre.

  • John Le Mesurier seems to have been always reliable (by which I mean the few of his I've seen).

  • Sellers's "old man" voice arouses in me questions as to why he was constantly cast in these senior roles (here, flashbacks, yes). Don't get me wrong, though. His performance is as great as you can expect from him.

  • "I'm old enough to be your aunt." Well, you don't look like it.

  • The titular sequence is actually memorable.

  • The ending I liked, which seems to be a common thing with viewers.

  • I have trouble understanding what this eventually is. One minute, there's some silly umbrella fencing, and the next, grave discussion about things marital in nature. I can't really grasp the whole film. That's right, blame my age. But it is all over the place.

  • At any rate, the film is worth a go. I didn't get these "masterpiece" vibes that others have gotten out of it, but if not for anything else, it's worth seeing for Sellers doing his thing.

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