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The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  1 October 2004 (UK)
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Reviews: 134 user | 58 critic

The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies.



(book), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 26 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Sellers
Peg Sellers
Bill Sellers
Dennis Selinger
Casting Agent
Ted Levy
Dr. Lyle Wexler
Spike Milligan (as Edward Tudor Pole)


The professional and personal life of actor and comedian Peter Sellers was a turbulent one. His early movie fame was based primarily on his comic characterizations, often of bumbling and foreign-accented persons, characters which he embodied. As his movie fame rose, he began to lose his own personal identity to his movie characters, leading to self-doubt of himself as a person and a constant need for reassurance and acceptance of his work. This self-doubt manifested itself in fits of anger and what was deemed as arrogance by many. In turn, his personal relationships began to deteriorate as his characterizations were continually used to mask his problems. His first wife, Anne Howe, left/divorced him and his relationships with his parents and children became increasingly distant. His relationship with his second wife, Swedish actress Britt Ekland, was based on this mask. In his later life, he tried to rediscover himself and his career with what would become his penultimate film role, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 October 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida e Morte de Peter Sellers  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$211,647 (Australia) (27 August 2004)


£259,663 (UK) (8 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one shot of a cinema marquee, a poster for The Blockhouse (1973) is visible, advertising Sellers as one of "Eight men trapped in a bunker." Below Sellers' name appear those of six of Sellers' seven co-stars. The missing name? Peter Vaughan, who plays Sellers' father in this film. See more »


In the scene from the Revenge of The Pink Panther, Sellers parrot is on his left shoulder. In the actual movie it is on the right shoulder. See more »


[Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick are riding in a limousine]
Peter Sellers: Three character is enough. Three is a good number.
Stanley Kubrick: You're being paid for four.
Peter Sellers: You're stretching me too thin, Stanley. Who do you think I am?
Stanley Kubrick: I think you're whoever I want you to be.
Peter Sellers: Then who am I now?
Stanley Kubrick: Peter, have you ever heard of Mutually Assured Destruction?
Peter Sellers: Hum a few bars and I'll join in.
Stanley Kubrick: It refers to when both sides in an atomic conflict are so powerful that if either side were to take action, it would inevitably result in the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The frame freezes and the end credits start. After some informations about the last part of life of Peter Sellers have scrolled up the screen, the credits stop and the camera suddenly pulls back, revealing Geoffrey Rush watching the end titles sitting in front of a monitor on a studio set. He turns toward the camera, waves, gets up, leaves the set and walks to a trailer. The camera tries to follow him inside, but he turns and says "You can't come in here". The door closes, and the camera zooms in on the sign with the name "Peter Sellers". The film again fades to black and we see the rest of the end credits. See more »


References The Party (1968) See more »


The Pink Panther
Written by Henry Mancini
Performed by The London Metropolitan Orchestra
Arranged and conducted by James Seymour Brett
See more »

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User Reviews

Rush is brilliant but it's a tough movie.
29 August 2004 | by (Fremantle, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm a sap when it comes to movie watching so the peeling away of the character of Peter Sellers made the film a hard watch for me. That in no way implies anything derogatory about this wonderful film, just that Seller's life as depicted on the screen made me uncomfortable watching it as it unfolded before me.

Intellectually I can understand the forces driving Sellers but I find it difficult when these forces begin to devour the personality behind them as happened to Sellers throughout the film. You're left with those timeless questions about the price of greatness and with this movie you're left with even more than the viewer might be expected to deal with.

It was not pretty watching the Greek tragedy that was the life of Peter Sellers and now, having seen the movie only several hours ago, I have great respect for Rush and the director for having crafted such a brilliant film. I can't imagine another actor who could have brought Sellers to life so accurately. The film was far from straight forward-it pulsed and entwined itself around Seller's life such that the viewer was challenged constantly to involve themselves with the characters rather than being a dumb waiter between screen and viewer.

A tough, excellent film not to be missed.

79 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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