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

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(book), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 29 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

I love me...I love me not. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Sellers had a turbulent relationship with his father, but he always tried to defend his legacy. When the film was released, Michael scolded director Stephen Hopkins. He didn't enjoy the way his father was portrayed as clinically insane in the book the film is based upon. He described the book as "400 pages of rubbish." This forced Hopkins to go to Cannes in an attempt to appease Michael. See more »

Goofs

When Sellers finds out (via the newspaper) that Britt Ekland is arriving in London it is the early 1960s, yet on the wall of his room at the start of the scene is the UK film poster for his film Undercovers Hero. See more »

Quotes

[At the screening of the finished film of The Pink Panther]
Blake Edwards: I'm not supposed to tell you but United Artists already wants a Clouseau sequel.
Peter Sellers: Who's directing?
Blake Edwards: Oh, probably some hack.
Peter Sellers: I'm dead fucking serious.
Blake Edwards: Peter, relax.
Peter Sellers: You're not suggesting you would?
Blake Edwards: What are you talking about?
Peter Sellers: I was bloody awful up there. If that's what you're going to get out of me, I don't think I want to repeat the experience.
Blake Edwards: You're blaming me for your performance?
[...]
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 »

Connections

References I'm All Right Jack (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

I Heard it Through the Grapevine
Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong
Performed by Marvin Gaye
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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.


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