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Film / After the Fox

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After the Fox (Italian: Caccia alla volpe) is a 1966 Italian-American heist comedy directed by Vittorio De Sica and starring Peter Sellers. The English-language script was written by Neil Simon, while Burt Bacharach and Hal David took charge on music.

An Italian mastermind (Sellers) masquerades as a film director to find loot on a beach where a bogus movie is being made.

The movie also stars Victor Mature, Britt Ekland, Martin Balsam, Akim Tamiroff, Maria Grazia Buccella, Paolo Stoppa, Tino Buazzelli, and De Sica.

Tropes for the film:

  • Adam Westing: Anyone acquainted with Victor Mature's work will recognize that as aging, over-the-hill matinee idol Tony Powell he's basically parodying himself. The old movie of Powell Aldo and Gina see at the movie theater is in fact an old movie of Mature's, 1949's Easy Living (not to be confused with the 1937 film that's a Screwball Comedy).note 
  • All Part of the Show: In order to unload stolen gold from a ship, Aldo Vanucci pretends to be shooting a movie at a small town on the Italian coast. He allows the entire population to "act" in his movie by helping him unload the gold. Later a film critic finds that the film is a work of art.
  • Casting Gag:
    • For the part of a former matinee idol whose career height is well behind him, the film casts Victor Mature, a former matinee idol whose career height at the time the film was made was well behind him. (Mature in fact had retired five years beforehand, before being convinced to return for this film.)note 
    • When Aldo masquerades as a film director, he fakes receiving a phone call from an acquaintance named "Sophia", the implication being that he's talking to Sophia Loren. Aldo's actor Peter Sellers did work with Loren beforehand in The Millionairess.
  • Creator Cameo: Vittorio De Sica appears as himself directing a movie about Moses and the Exodus in which Aldo and his gang infiltrate as extras, so that Aldo can get a hold of how to pass himself as a film director.
  • Fakeout Escape:
    • Aldo, the eponymous escape artist and thief, pretends to escape, and then succeeds in escaping, by dressing up as the prison doctor, pretending he had been tied up by The Fox, and that the real doctor, who was already out of the building, was in fact The Fox. The Fox is escorted out with much sympathy, and the jailers go chasing after the unfortunate doctor.
    • Then, at the movie's end, The Fox is back behind bars, and the same situation is played out, but this time, the guards decide to not fall for that again and leave the doctor tied up in the cell. Outside, The Fox pulls on his disguise beard... and it doesn't come off. He exclaims "My God, the wrong man escaped!"
  • Film Felons: The plot is about The Fox who poses as a film director in order to easily transfer a large quantity of stolen gold.
  • I Have No Son!: Mamma Vanucci's exact words when he complains at her cold reception when he comes back to their apartment.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Criminal Mastermind Aldo, aka The Fox, is in prison in the beginning (brazenly telling the warden the exact time he'll escape)- when his family visits, he gives them presents of candy, cigarettes, and fresh fruit.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The police enters the apartment used by Aldo's gang while he is in the bath. Seeing his sidekicks upsseet,, they think that Aldo is hiding under the foam and empty the bathutub, but find nothing. After they leave, the sidekicks find out that Aldo is hiding on the roof, covered in nothing but soap and a few pidgeons he's grabbed. A woman bends out of her window to shake her blanket... and she doesn't like what she sees.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Aldo expects that from his mother and sister, even after he was arrested and they were (practically) left to their own devices, except for the help of Aldo's sidekicks. He's shocked when he learns that Mamma is running a bingo in their apartment and Gina got a cameo in a film. Both are justifiedly furious when he suddenly appears demanding for them to drop everything and obey him... even if it is a '60s film. This even extends to his budding relationship with Okra's lovely female accomplice: He's at first sympathetic to her plight when she tells him of how controlling Okra is, but the moment Okra reveals that she's his sister, Aldo immediately demands that she should go to her brother's side.
  • Title Theme Tune: Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, performed by Sellers with The Hollies.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: The movie has former "international handsome star" Tony Powell. He's artificially tanned and white-toothed (which he shows off as a Perpetual Smiler), uses shoe polish to cover his graying hair and is convinced that he's perfect to make a comeback as the hero of the old noir films he used to star in while his agent tries to bring him to reality. Aldo is easily able to manipulate him.