The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  1 October 2004 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 12,679 users  
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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 26 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A romantic comedy about two trashy couples traveling to Reno to see a monster truck show.

Director: Jordan Brady
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1930's England, Paris, and Spain. Gilda Bessé shares her Paris apartment with an Irish schoolteacher, Guy Malyon, and Mia, a refugee ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Penélope Cruz
North Country (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.

Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner, Frances McDormand
Sleepwalking (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The drama follows a 12-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment.

Director: Bill Maher
Stars: Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb
Trapped (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When their daughter is kidnapped by experienced nappers, the Jennings' turn the tables on this seemingly foolproof plan.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Charlize Theron, Courtney Love
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An actor poses as a lawyer to help his sick friend, and problems develop.

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Michael Richards, Jeff Daniels, Charlize Theron
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bumbling and conceited French police inspector Clouseau tries to catch The Phantom, a daring jewel thief whose identity and features are unknown - and is acting right under his nose.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner
Shine (1996)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pianist David Helfgott, driven by his father and teachers, has a breakdown. Years later he returns to the piano, to popular if not critical acclaim.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Justin Braine
Being There (1979)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.

Director: Guillermo Arriaga
Stars: Charlize Theron, John Corbett, José María Yazpik


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


I love me...I love me not. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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?


Geoffrey Rush was only one year younger than Peter Sellers was when he died, and here plays him over the course of thirty years. See more »


A cinema marquee advertises _Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1973)_ despite the fact that this film was shelved until after Sellers' death and never received a theatrical release. Similarly, _The Blockhouse (1973)_ didn't have a U.K. theatrical release but is shown playing on a London marquee. See more »


Dennis Selinger: [Handing Sellers a script] It's called "The Pink Panther."
Peter Sellers: Sounds like a bloody strip joint... for poofs.
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 Sunshine Boys (1975) See more »


After the Fox
Written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David
Performed by The Hollies with Peter Sellers
Heard during recreation of the filming of the movie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I thought Geoffrey Rush's performance was fantastic and makes the movie totally worth watching.
6 January 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The story begins with the Goons and ends just after his role in the movie, Being There, thirty years later. A lot of the film features recreations of famous moments in Seller's acting life, such as appearing on "The Goons" or in "The Pink Panther". There are some particularly hilarious insights into his development of the "Inspector Clouseau" character, including an explanation of why he ended up hating the character so much.

As such, it really only touches the surface of his life story, but it does give you an intense understanding of the character. A character which, in the style of Greek tragedy, had a major flaw. For me, the flaw was Seller's total lack of confidence, perhaps due to his appearance, which he appears constantly to have overcompensated for.

Curiously enough, since Sellers is shown portraying great emotions, I was never actually moved myself, except perhaps for the occasion when he is violent towards Britt Ekland and in a particularly galling moment with his children.

The movie reaches its crescendo with Sellers' performance in "Being There" in which it's suggested the reason why Sellers so wanted to play the man without a personality was because he, himself, had no personality.

A few people at my workplace commented they thought the movie was far too stylized. Although I can see their point, and I agree I was never really touched by the movie, I thought Geoffrey Rush's performance more than made up for this. Rush plays not only Sellers, but several other characters in a Sellers-like "Dr Strangelove" kind of way, and achieves all of it with gusto. I also really enjoyed the performance of Miriam Margoyles as Sellers' mother, Peg, with whom he seems to have enjoyed an intense, almost Oedipal relationship.

I thought Geoffrey Rush's performance was fantastic and makes the movie totally worth watching.

37 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Goons toast960
Memorable films abdout the Swinging Sixties. AudemarsPiguet
name of the restaurant??? javiersimpatico
The casting agency in the film: Bosanquet and Gold spyott
Game playing with wife and son screenidol
Stanley Tucci as Sellers addictedtofilm

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: