Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 14th, 2016
BluRay released: March 22nd, 2016
Approximate running time: 104 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
After the Fox was directed by Vittorio De Sica whose other notable films include, Bicycle Thieves, Miracle in Milan, Umberto D. and The Garden of the Finzi Contini. Key collaborators on After the Fox include, screenwriters Cesare Zavattini (The Overcoat, Two Women), Neil Simon (Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple) and cinematographer Leonida Barboni (The Facts of Murder, Divorce Italian Style). The score for the English language release was composed by Burt Bacharach (What’s New Pussycat) and the score for the Italian language release was composed Piero Piccioni (L’Assassino, Camille 2000).
Right from the opening moments this film firmly establishes a farcical tone that remains throughout. And this unto itself is one of this film’s many in jokes, since its director Vittorio De Sica is most remembered for being forerunners of the neorealism. To be fair this was not his first foray into comedy with a mainstream appeal. By the early part of the 1960’s De Sica had already started to drift away from neorealism and started to make films like, Boccaccio ’70 segment “La riffa”, Marriage Italian Style and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Then there is other half of the equation Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther) who has been cast in the role of mastermind criminal named Aldo Vanucci. This role is tailor made for Sellers who has an unparalleled ability to effortlessly transform like chameleon from one persona to the next. And before all is said and done, he even gets to portray a neorealist filmmaker. Sellers and De Sica’s only other collaboration was The Millionairess. They both appeared as actors in that film.
As mentioned before that this film is clearly a comedy and one that leans heavily towards farcical. So it should not come as surprise that when it comes to the comedy set pieces and one liners in this that this film does not miss a beat. With a few of this film’s funniest moments being, a scene where Vanucci has an appointment with gold thieves at a restaurant. When he arrives he see a very attractive women and he is directed to sit with her. Then he notices something odd that there is a man’s voice speaking the words she pretends to say. From there he takes advantage of this set and drags out the negotiations so he can make out with the attractive woman. Another standout moment is actually occurring twice in the film and these scenes involve Vanucci who impersonates a doctor, who he then ties up and uses his new look as a means to escape.
Besides Sellers aforementioned performance, the rest of the cast are all very good in their respective roles. Another standout performance comes Victor Mature (My Darling Clementine, Kiss of Death) in the role of an actor named Tony Powell, who is in the twilight of his career and to try to retain some of his youth he dies his hair black. He delivers a superb performance that perfectly parodies Sunset Boulevard. Other notable cast members include, Britt Ekland (The Wicker Man), Martin Balsam (Psycho), Akim Tamiroff (Touch of Evil) in the role of Okra the ring leader behind the stolen gold and Maria Grazia Buccella (Villa Rides) in the role of Okra’s sexually repressed sister.
At a first glance this film appears to be yet another Hollywood comedy that has been tailored to suit its leading man. When upon further perusal this film wisely avoids the familiar Hollywood trappings and then result is something that far exceeds the sum of the parts.
After the Fox comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. When compared to MGM’s previous DVD releases. This new release is a substantial upgrade in every category. With the biggest leaps being, image clarity, black levels and shadow detail and colors have never looked more vibrant. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio is in very good shape as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust, especially when it comes to the score for the film. And when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack they are well represented.
Extras for this release include trailers for After the Fox (2 minutes 49 seconds), What’s New Pussycat (2 minutes 53 seconds) and The Party (2 minutes 1 second) and a segment titled ‘Trailers from Hell’ with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (3 minutes 6 seconds).
The extra tilted ‘Trailers from Hell’ provides a brief overview for the cast & crew and other information related to the film. Overall After the Fox gets a first rate audio / video presentation from Kino Lorber.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.