SPOILER ALERT: I don't think there is anything I say here that you can't get from looking at the cover of the DVD and reading the liner notes. But I am going to discuss the non-surprise ending, and will give details to make some points. You really do need to see the movie to understand its charm and humor. It isn't so much the plot that is distinctive as the characters and their personalities that have to be seen to be understood.
I first saw this film late at night on one of the UHF channels back in the early 1970s. I loved it from the beginning to the end! I probably only have seen the movie twice, in a similar circumstance. Yet the film was so memorable!
I have always wanted to see the film again, but have never seen it listed for television replay since the 1970s. So I am terribly pleased that I now have a copy to watch any time I want to.
This is not Pink-panther slapstick comedy. I have the complete set of those movies, and love them. But Peter Sellers was so much more than Inspector Clouseau!
I feel this movie has more akin to "Being There" ... another, more subtle and gentle comedy.
Seller's character "Juan Bautista, the Singing Matador" is simply charming. You just love him from his first awkward attempts to order a cheese sandwich on credit.
The basic plot is that Juan is a country bumpkin and a very bad matador who runs from the bulls. So he starts singing while running from the bulls, and uses that as a gimmick to try to sell himself. He goes to the "big city" (Barcelona) and tries to persuade the local empresario to give him a chance on the stage.
After some haggling, Juan is told that if he can bed the local beauty (and resident man-destroying B#@$), Olimpia, he can have his chance on the stage.
What follows is a wonderful sequence of scenes where Juan presents himself as the manservant of a nobleman who is enamored by Olimpia and is willing to pay huge sums of cash for a date. As Olimpia is the definition of a gold-digger, she willingly agrees. But on each occasion, Juan shows up, they wait together for the Count, who never shows, and Olimpia ends up footing the bill for the "date."
Gradually she starts to fall in love with Juan. In the end, he wins the bet.
At this point, I would normally stop in order to not give away the ending. But in fact, the ending is already given away by the DVD packaging. As you can see on the front and back covers, Juan is dyed a nice deep blue. That is his punishment for using this woman for his own career advancement.
But its also necessary to explain some things that I really like about the movie:
-- although you end up liking Olimpia by the end of the movie, she is seen as a nasty gold-diggeer throughout the first part of the movie. She uses men for their money, and then destroys them. So by the time Juan comes along to "use" her, you really don't feel sorry for her.
-- In fact, it is through Juan's influence that you begin to see Olimpia soften and start to like her as a person.
-- Juan does get his just deserts. But what is so wonderful about this film, and Juan, is that he is totally accepting of the punishment. No resentment. On stepping out of the bath, totally blue from head to toe, he smiles gently, admits he deserves the punishment, and asks for a robe, since he does not want to stain his matador outfit. There is a really wonderful scene where he walks out of his apartment completely blue, in a ladies' pink bathrobe, with his matador outfit slung over his shoulder and walks across the town plaza with a crowd of onlookers. Smiling proudly and gently the whole way!
I'll leave the rest of the ending for you to watch. But it is just as charming as the rest of the movie.
One other thing, for a very old movie, the quality of sound and video is excellent, especially the color, which obviously becomes important in the end.