Release date4 April 1961 (1961-04-04) (London) WriterMarcel Pagnol (play), Pierre Rouve Music directorGeorge Martin, Georges Van Parys CastHerbert Lom (Castel Benac), Peter Sellers (Auguste Topaze), Leo McKern (Muche), Michael Gough (Tamise), John Neville (Roger), Martita Hunt (Baroness) Similar moviesTopaze (1933)
Mr. Topaze (also known as I Like Money) is Peter Sellers' directorial debut in 1961. Starring Sellers, Nadia Gray and Leo McKern, as well as Herbert Lom. His son Michael Sellers plays in the film in the role of Gaston. The film is based on the eponymous play by Marcel Pagnol.
Out of distribution for many years, a print exists in the British Film Institute National Archive, which makes it available for viewing on their website. The film was shown during the 2003 Cardiff Independent Film Festival.
Mr. Topaze (Peter Sellers) is an unassuming school teacher in an unassuming small French town who is honest to a fault. He is fired when he refuses to give a passing grade to a bad student, the grandson of a wealthy Baroness (Martita Hunt). Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), a government official who runs a crooked financial business on the side, is persuaded by his mistress, Suzy (Nadia Gray), a musical comedy actress, to hire Mr. Topaze as the front man for his business. Gradually, Topaze becomes a rapacious financier who sacrifices his honesty for success and, in a final stroke of business bravado, fires Benac and acquires Suzy in the deal. An old friend and colleague, Tamise (Michael Gough) questions him and tells Topaze that what he now says and practices indicates there are no more honest men.