After The Fox
MGM // Unrated // $14.98 // February 5, 2002
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted March 19, 2002
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Movie:

After opening with a theme song whose annoyance level is an 11 on a scale of 1-10, this 1966 comedy starring Peter Sellers and written by Neil Simon actually starts up quite nicely, providing some solid laughs and the occasional mild chuckle. The film stars Sellers as criminal mastermind Aldo Venucci, also known by some as "The Fox". Joining up with a gang of criminals, Aldo plans to steal a shipment of gold that is on its way through Italy. To do so requires faking the filming of a major motion picture about gold smuggling, starring a former action star (Victor Mature) and Aldo's own sister (Britt Ekland).

This isn't the funniest Simon-written screenplay that's ever been filmed, but it's thanks to the actors that the average material works as well as it does. There's some terrific moments, such as when Aldo is in a movie theater and comes to the realization that a film would also allow him enough police protection to pull off what an enormous heist. The performances also liven up the material, as Sellers shows masterful comedic timing and Mature seems to be having fun with the character.

Overall, it's not a very memorable film, but I found it particularly funny at times, especially when it cleverly goofs upon Hollywood filmmaking. The picture also includes fantastic widescreen cinematography and strong direction from Vittorio De Sica ("The Bicycle Thief").


The DVD

VIDEO: "After the Fox" is presented by MGM in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. While the presentation certainly doesn't approach greatness, I was surprised that the film actually remains in decent condition after all these years. Sharpness and detail are quite good for an older picture, as the film remained crisp and well-defined throughout, with no noticable softness or haziness.

Yet, there were some flaws that took away from the presentation. The print seemed mostly free of marks and specks, but there were some instances of minor-to-mild wear and dirt during the opening of the film. Some edge enhancement is also visible infrequently, but no pixelation or other flaws are seen. Colors remain a bit flat in the early going, but later scenes provide richer, more vibrant colors. Overall, this is a nice effort considering the age of the picture. A very heavily cropped pan & scan presentation is on the flip side.

SOUND: The mono soundtrack is simply okay. The lively Burt Bacharach score can sound a little tinny and thin at times, as could the dialogue. Still, the audio never sounded thin enough to be uncomfortable and most of the film sounded crisp and clear.

MENUS: Very basic film-themed images serve as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: The film's trailer.

Final Thoughts: "After The Fox" is a mildly funny comedic caper that isn't that memorable, but it does deliver laughs at a consistent pace and a great performance from Sellers. MGM's DVD doesn't offer much at all in the way of supplements, but does boast a low-price and audio/video quality that's good, considering the age of the picture.


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