"Ow now Rog, we've been bladdy rambled!"
"Wrong film Rog"
Rog 'n' Mike play dual roles in Bullseye!: Moore simultaneously essays the parts of untrustworthy conman Gerald Bradley-Smith and nuclear physicist (lol) Sir John Bavistock, while Caine tackles both of those characters' partners, crook Sidney Lipton and scientist Daniel Hicklar. It is, of course, a staggering coincidence that two friends and colleagues should have exact doubles who are also friends and colleagues, but you should probably get used to that kind of plot improbability early on because there's quite a lot of it. In fact without it, Bullseye! wouldn't exist, and what kind of a world would that be? Just you think about that.
Gerald and Sidney, along with fellow con artist Willie (Sally Kirkland, who replaced a mysteriously unavailable Shirley Maclaine), use their convenient likeness to the science boffins to steal a pile of diamonds from them in a first act heist which is actually quite fun, despite being scripted and acted as if it were a school play produced by hormone-addled teenagers. Rog gets to dress up as a blind Austrian piano tuner for some reason, while both men execute a sophisticated plan to remove a key from a vicious dog's collar by forcing it into a canine orgy with a harem of six unsuspecting lady dogs, thereby tiring it out so they can steal the key safely. In a tender moment, this allows the two lead actors (both of whom would later become Commanders of the Order of the British Empire) to reflect on the tragedy of their own waning masculinity and sexual prowess while watching a Staffordhire Bull Terrier vigorously fucking a Poodle.
"Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine
in one spirit meet and mingle. Why not I with thine?"
- Shelley, 1820
From this romantic interlude on, sadly, Bullseye! becomes less refined. In the grubby hands of restaurant critic (and, according to the credits, director) Michael Winner, the dual-identity thread of the narrative is allowed to tie itself into such chaotic knots that it's frequently impossible to tell which of the Caines and Moores we're watching. The plot, such as it is, makes almost no sense; comedic scenes that have no bearing on anything are wedged in with the unfulfilled promise that a punchline may one day arrive to justify their presence; important information seems to have been left on the cutting room floor - or, more likely, never shot or even written - and in its undignified dying moments there's a cameo from John Cleese which is absolutely baffling in its execution, as if it were only shot because he happened to be in Barbados at the time of filming. Which, of course, is exactly the case.
But Rogertainment is a celebration of His Rogerness, rather than a chance to berate some of the worst films ever made; it just happens that the two are often easily dealt with simultaneously. And while Bullseye! is undoubtedly an unedifying piece of cinematic wreckage, it allows Sir Rog to have what is obviously the time of his life dicking about with his chums, and that results in an unexpectedly and improbably enjoyable experience for the Rogerwatchers among us. His attempt at a cockney accent is laughably terrible (although not as bad as Caine's American accent), he plays twice as many borderline sex pests as usual, and he is - let's not mince words here - an atrocious actor in this film. But none of that matters: for once he hasn't been miscast, because the film is as juvenile as he is, and neither make any attempts to be otherwise.
It is under 24 hours since I watched this scene,
yet I cannot recall how or why it comes about
If you've only joined us in the past twelve months you may be wondering why I am wanging on with comical infrequency about Roger Moore films. You won't find the answer here, but it's as good a place to start as any.
Bullseye! is re-released on DVD by Fabulous Films on April 4th 2016. Use this information as you see fit.