The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)
September 22, 2014 7:22 PM - Subscribe

The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered for his comedy on The Goon Show (radio), as Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies, comedy records, and much more.

Brief summary from Wikipedia (follow link for footnotes):
The film shows Peter Sellers as a complex and tormented genius, whose success as a film star concealed his difficult and relatively unhappy private life. This "troubled life" is the primary focus of this biopic, which personalizes "one of the greatest comic actors in the history of the British cinema," and shows the many masks he wore and characters he played as an actor.

The film makes clear that much of his success and identity were dependent initially on his domineering and doting mother. But eventually this success, first in radio and eventually in film, led to his succumbing to destructive mood swings and insecurity, and contributed to the deterioration of his marriages. Discovering his gift for comedy, his ego began to undermine his personal relationships with friends and co-workers. His personality became more turbulent. His own personality often merged with that of his film characters, and his self-learned skill as a "method actor" was used to mask his real self.
Review of the book by Roger Lewis on which the HBO Film was based, by Publisher's Weekly.

Directed by Stephen Hopkins
Trailer (YouTube)
Available on Amazon
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (2 comments total)
I saw this on my one date during a year of being single at university. Lets just say it was probably the most memorable part of the date.

I think this is a nice little film, even if it it does rather hammer a life into a neat little box, as most biopics do. It doesn't let Peter Sellers off for his sometimes unpleasent behaviour, but also lets us see that he was an extremely talented man.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:58 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wanted more scenes with The Goon Show but I guess they had so much to cram in, we didn't spend much time with them.

Geoffrey Rush was a-effing-mazing as Peter Sellers and deserves all sorts of awards showered on him, as far as I'm concerned; however those who knew Sellers had a different reaction. This is from Wikipedia:
The Belfast Telegraph notes how the film captured Sellers's "life of drugs, drink, fast cars and lots and lots of beautiful women".[9] Although the film was widely praised by critics, both Lord Snowdon and Britt Ekland were highly critical of the film and the enactment of Sellers;[10] Ekland believed that the film left the audiences with the wrong impression, saying "the film leaves you with the impression that Peter Sellers was essentially a likeable man when in reality he was a monster. He may have been a brilliant actor, but as a human being he had no saving graces at all".[11] Snowden disagreed with Ekland's verdict, and with the film, and stated that Sellers "had a light touch, a sense of humour, I can't bear to see him portrayed as somebody who was apparently without either ... The man on the screen is charmless, humourless and boring - the one thing you could never say about Peter."[11]
So, someone who was most intimate with him, lived with him, describes him as "a monster". Ouch.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:47 AM on September 23, 2014

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