Honest French teacher Auguste Topaze (Peter Sellers) is fired after refusing to alter the bad grades of a baroness' grandson. Sensing an opportunity, actress Suzy (Nadia Gray) convinces her lover, corrupt city council member Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), to hire Topaze as a managing director for one of his businesses, arguing that Topaze's well-known honesty will protect the company from suspicion. When Topaze learns he is being used, he decides to swindle his manipulators. Based on a Marcel Pagnol play, this film was the sole directorial effort of legendary British comic actor Peter Sellers. A critical and commercial failure upon its release, all copies but one (in the British Film Institute) were destroyed. Long considered a lost classic, this film was recently restored by the BFI at the request of the British public.