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The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) Poster

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The real Blake Edwards hailed Geoffrey Rush's performance as the best he's ever seen, and said that in some shots he thought he was seeing the real Sellers.
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Not only were scenes with Peter Sellers' fourth wife, Lynne Frederick, cut from the final print, but no direct mention of his third wife or fiancée Liza Minnelli is made. Their short engagement ended when she pulled off his toupee as a joke.
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After Britt tells Peter in the bathroom that she's pregnant, Peter spins the toilet paper and it doesn't stop rolling out. This same gag happens in Peter Sellers's film The Party (1968).
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Won the most Emmys for a made for television movie without winning for the Outstanding Made for Television Movie award. It won 9 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special, Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special, Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special, Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie - Geoffrey Rush
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Rob Brydon played Dustin Hoffman in a deleted scene, which took place at the 1980 Academy Awards and involved Sellers losing the Oscar for Best Actor (for his performance in Being There (1979)) to Hoffman (for his performance in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)), during his acceptance speech Hoffman declared "I refuse to believe that I beat Peter Sellers". Though the Academy Awards scene was deleted, the framing scene of Sellers watching it on TV is still in the picture. It has merely been reedited so what's playing on the TV has been changed to the scene from Being There (1979) that he filmed. The look on Sellers' face as he watches was originally his expression while rewinding the tape of Hoffman saying "I beat Peter Sellers" and playing it over and over again. Stephen Hopkins says on the DVD commentary that the scene was altered because his dramatic point got lost in the exposition of showing Sellers lose the Oscar.
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Steve Coogan was at one point considered to play Peter Sellers.
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Robin Williams was the original choice for the role of Peter Sellers but he was too busy with other projects. Robin said it would have been a great honor to play Peter Sellers.
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Geoffrey Rush initially turned down the film, feeling he didn't possess the mental capacity to play Peter Sellers. But after finishing Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Rush changed his mind and decided to do the film, feeling that the previous film had put him in the right mindset.
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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.
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Peter Vaughan, who plays Sellers' father in the film, co-starred with the actor in The Blockhouse (1973).
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Nigel Havers, who plays David Niven in this film, owns the film rights to Niven's memoir, "The Moon's a Balloon."
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Sacha Baron Cohen and Kevin Spacey were considered to play Peter Sellers at early stages.
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When Peter Sellers is in the car having sex with Sophia Loren's body double, the song being played is "Goodness Gracious Me". This particular song was performed as a duet between the real-life Sellers and Loren, and was a hit in late 1960 in the UK and throughout Europe.
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The voice of the waiter that Peter tells to "stick his fresh fruit up his arse" is based on Malcolm McDowell's performance as Alex in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). Kubrick directed Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).
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Although the scenes featuring Emilia Fox's performance as Sellers' fourth wife Lynn Frederick were left out of the final cut, Fox is still visible in the background of the scene showing the filming of a scene from "Being There." She is the blonde woman standing behind the cameraman and crew behind Peter Sellers/Geoffrey Rush. In a deleted scene on the DVD there is a continuation of this scene. After the take is over, Lynn tries to talk to Sellers, but he remains in character of the simpleton Chance.
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Geoffrey Rush was only one year younger than Peter Sellers was when he died, and here plays him over the course of thirty years.
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The characters that come to haunt Peter Sellers in his dream (while he is being resuscitated in hospital) are Mr Robinson (The Ladykillers (1955)), Grand Duchess Gloriana XII (The Mouse That Roared (1959)), Aldo Vanucci (After the Fox (1966)), Lionel Meadows (Never Let Go (1960)), President Merkin Muffley and Dr Strangelove (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)), and Inspector Clouseau (Pink Panther series). The voice of Fred Kite (I'm All Right Jack (1959)) is also heard, but the character does not appear.
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Peter Sellers did not give a pony to his son Michael as shown in the film. He gave it to his younger daughter by Britt Ekland years later. The change was made in order to compress events for dramatic purposes. According to the screenwriter, the horse disappeared after a couple of weeks, and when his daughter wanted to know where it was, he replied that he had given it to Princess Margaret.
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In the original concept, the screenwriters wanted Peter Sellers to comment on himself through his own characters as they sat around the War Room set from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). The idea was dropped because it would have been prohibitively expensive in royalties. As an alternative they decided to have Sellers speak about himself through the characters from family and colleagues.
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The car Michael Sellers paints a "racing stripe" on is a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental. Only 207 were ever built.
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Scenes were filmed with Emilia Fox as Lynne Frederick, Peter Sellers's fourth wife, but these were omitted from the final print. However they are featured on the DVD.
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The motorcycle Peter Sellers gives to Sarah Sellers as a gift is a 1959 Triumph Bonneville, the first year of production of that iconic motorcycle.
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The cartoon character of Peter Sellers in the opening animated title sequence went through over 40 changes until the final character was settled upon. The character was based on Geoffrey Rush's performance/performances of Sellers and was created by Irish animator Paul Donnellon of VooDooDog.
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Lance Ellington portrays his father, Ray Ellington.
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The director that Peter Sellers calls Joe on Casino Royale (1967) is Joe McGrath, who also directed "The Goon Show".
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The photo behind the casting agent that's hiring him for "The Smallest Show on Earth" has a picture of her and Cesar Romero behind her. Romero did several films in Britain in the early 50s. Also recognizable in a wall photo is Margaret Rutherford.
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Although it's not mentioned, Peter Sellers was working with Kim Novak and Dean Martin on Billy Wilder's Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) when he was stricken with his first heart attack. Wilder replaced him with Ray Walston. The movie was such a big flop that United Artists did not want to release it directly themselves. It was picked up by their subsidiary, Lopert Films, which usually dealt with foreign films of limited or strictly art-house appeal.
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In one shot of a cinema marquee, a poster for "The Blockhouse" 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.
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