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Neil Simon Wanted Marcello Mastroianni for This Film, But Got Peter Sellers Instead

Neil Simon Wanted Marcello Mastroianni for This Film, But Got Peter Sellers Instead

Neil Simon, a first-time screenwriter with three hits running on Broadway, wanted Marcello Mastroianni to play the lead in this movie-biz caper comedy, but got Peter Sellers instead, who had always wanted to work with Vittorio De Sica. De Sica brought on his writer pal Cesare Zavattini. He and Simon wrote together through interpreters, but in the end Simon worried that De Sica’s Italian editors were killing the jokes. Pretty much ignored when released, it’s now a moderately popular cult item.

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