IMDb > The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) (TV)

The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
25 April 2000 (USA) See more »
Documentary about the career of Peter Sellers. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Ignores the personality and looks at the career, and is a stronger documentary for it See more (5 total) »


Fred Applegate ... Narrator

David Frost ... Himself (as Sir David Frost)
Richard Lester ... Himself
David Lodge ... Himself

Shirley MacLaine ... Herself
Joseph McGrath ... Himself (as Joe McGrath)

Spike Milligan ... Himself

Michael Palin ... Himself
Harry Secombe ... Himself (as Sir Harry Secombe)

Peter Sellers ... Himself (archive footage)
Alexander Walker ... Himself

Directed by
David Leaf 
John Scheinfeld 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
David Leaf 
John Scheinfeld 

Produced by
Larry Adler .... executive producer
Mark S. Andrew .... producer
Iris Frederick .... executive producer
David Leaf .... producer
John Scheinfeld .... producer
Original Music by
Glenn A. Jordan 
Cinematography by
Steve Robson 
Arnie Sirlin 
Orlando Stuart 
Film Editing by
Mark S. Andrew 
Production Management
Mike Bell .... production manager
Sound Department
Timm Gibb .... sound
Matt Gruber .... sound mixer
Larry Scharf .... sound
Gabriel Scott .... sound
Editorial Department
Sean Linderman .... additional editor
Other crew
Angie Daniels .... production assistant
Dick Fiddy .... research and clearances
Barbara Gregson .... research and clearances
Eric Kulberg .... research and clearances
John Page .... research and clearances

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

52 min

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Movie Connections:
References The Ladykillers (1955)See more »


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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Ignores the personality and looks at the career, and is a stronger documentary for it, 3 January 2005
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Peter Sellers is one of the most famous British comedians of recent times. Having made one of the greatest comedies ever (in Dr Strangelove) and having changed the face of British comedy after WWII with the Goon Show, it is easy to assume that this career was one easy succession of hits, famous films and choice roles but it really wasn't. This film looks at his career development and shows clips from some films and TV series that have been pretty much unseen since he made them in the 1950's etc.

The title implies that this documentary will delve into the personality and private life of Sellers, however nothing could be further from the truth. Rather the "unknown" in the title is more about aspects of his career than his personality and, for this focus it is actually much better. The film traces his early career which many of us will already know (The Goons), but it also shows and discusses films and TV series that few of us will have heard of, much less seen. This is all interesting and complimented by talking head sections with plenty of interesting and personal contributions.

The American accent from Applegate is a bit grating (pardon the slight pun) but I got used to it quite quickly and the extra voices all helped to cover his weaknesses. Of course this very career focused film may put viewers off and may not do anything for real fans who are familiar with his career but it was very interesting to me – albeit a little tragic at times. The focus did help it because it didn't get sucked into gossip and personal issues – it stayed with the things we are interested in (the films) and buoys that up with personal recollections. For me the highlight was the note about Dr Strangelove – I knew about Sellers playing Kong and the pie fight ending but I didn't know that it was Spike Milligan who suggested the ending that made the cut.

Overall a very good film that is focused and better for it. We get a good look at his films and career that never gets sucked into personality but instead keep to the facts while getting those that knew him to add insight and personal touches. His career was harder than I thought and it was interesting, although in my heart all I want to remember are the highs of the Goons and Dr Strangelove.

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