buccaneer at 2011-05-27 07:33:27:
As a lifelong Sellers fan, it took me a while to appreciate this film -- I probably saw it too young and was used to the Clouseau side of Sellers' work. But this has grown to be one of my favorite films. It's a satire but not over the top -- and it still rings true today, maybe even more. Sellers is so good as Chance -- he seems to channel Stan laurel for his quiet and sweet performance. Great direction and supporting cast too. Hopefully, this will never get remade!
John at 2011-05-27 09:16:16:
It's been on my top five list of all time since I first saw it. Every layer and ounce of production value up on the screen comes into play to create the experience -- from the settings (chiefly the Biltmore Mansion) to the art direction, cinematography, score, the whole package.

And of course the writing and the cast, inhabiting characters that find so much to work with in playing off Chauncey, are at the top of their game.

I dunno how the great ones do it, but Hal Ashby and JK caught lightning in a bottle with this one...a magical story that always casts its spell when you drop into it, regardless how many times you've seen it. There's just some sort of...touch they bring to the storytelling. (Similar in so many respects -- LOCAL HERO...)

Plus this may have been one of the first key films to immortalize the "more laughs after the credits roll" idea. It's LOL time whenever I think about Peter Sellers trying to deliver that message to Raphael...
daveed at 2011-05-27 09:56:04:
This is a trickster film in every sense of the archetype -- it defies easy interpretation, makes you laugh, and wonder, and yeah feel a little stupid for not "getting it" right away.

It marvels you with what appears to be a simple story. But there are deep, deep layers to this film that stay with you long after it's over.

Is it a religious allegory about Eden and the fall of man? A social satire about wealth, power and politics? Or just one glorious joke about the pointless, godless randomness of the universe? Yes. And no. And maybe. The point is, what do you think?

This is a film that makes you think, but doesn't necessarily reward you for coming to a conclusion. I believe the reward comes from it being so thought- and emotion-provoking.

Sellers may have pulled off the greatest characterization in drama: Chauncy is a perfect mirror held up not just to the other characters, but to the audience.

I've been wanting to read the Kosinski novel on which it was based. I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts who's read it. (Kosinski also wrote the screenplay, I believe.)
Trevor Mayes at 2011-05-27 14:58:31:
Brilliant character. Brilliant actor. Brilliant ending.

I only wish they hadn't cut to the gag reel so quickly after the last scene. If they'd allowed viewers to bask in the profundity of the moment longer, I believe Sellers would have won the Academy Award that year.
Scott at 2011-05-27 15:26:57:
@Trevor: You aren't the only who didn't like the gag reel.