The story begins in Cairo with the hijacking of $3 million in gold bullion. The thieves need a way to smuggle the two tons of gold bars into Europe. There are only four master criminals considered able to smuggle the gold: one is French (but so crippled he can barely move his wheelchair); one is Irish (but so nearsighted that he is arrested after trying to hold up a police station instead of a bank); one is German (but so fat he can barely get through a door). The only man cunning enough to outwit Interpol is Aldo Vanucci, also known as The Fox, a master criminal with a talent for disguise. Vanucci poses as an Italian neo-realist director named Federico Fabrizi. He plans to bring the gold ashore in broad daylight as part of a scene in an avant garde film. To give the picture an air of legitimacy, he cons over-the-hill American matinee idol Tony Powell to star in the film, which is blatantly titled The Gold of Cairo. Fabrizi then enlists the starstruck population of Sevalio, a tiny fishing village, to unload the shipment. He is caught, and Vanucci's "film" is used as evidence.