Based on the play Topaze by French author and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol, Peter Sellers’s first and only credited directorial endeavor (1961) is not so much a lost classic as it is a minor effort that might appeal to his devotees. Sellers likewise stars as the mild-mannered Auguste Topaze, an earnest rural French school teacher who gets fired from his post for refusing to falsify a student’s grades and is then inveigled into a life of white-collar crime in Paris. Much like Topaze, Sellers seems to be taking himself much too seriously; absent is any of the humor that defined his iconic roles in the Pink Panther series, Dr. Strangelove, et cetera. Absent is anything of interest, really—the film is mostly just dull, inoffensive as it is uninteresting. Reportedly all but one 35-millimeter copy of the film was destroyed after its lackluster reception; other sources say Sellers kept a 16-millimeter print that he ran for himself on occasion. Whatever his personal feelings about the film, it’s intriguing as an artifact but isn’t satisfying as much else. Originally released in the United States as I Like Money.