In this comedy, set during the Nazi occupation of France, Peter Sellers plays most major male parts, so he stars in nearly every scene, always bumbling in inspector Clouseau-style. As ... See full summary »
During D-day several people become trapped while hiding in a bunker, when heavy shelling collapses it. They have plenty of food and water so they decide to wait for rescuers. And so they wait year, after year, after year.
Unsuccessful singing bullfighter Juan arrives in Barcelona to try his luck in a big town. He finally persuades a devious local impresario to book him, but only on the condition that Juan ... See full summary »
In the 17th century, a pirate captain is murdered by his cook after he buries his treasure and marks it on a map but the poor-memory cook must rely on the captain's ghost to re-track the loot, since the map was drawn in disappearing ink.
TV personality Robert Danvers, an exceedingly vain rotter, seduces young women daily, never staying long with one. He meets his match in Marion, an American, 19, who's available but refuses... See full summary »
John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and ... See full summary »
A lonely executive Blackmails a young girl from the steno pool into spending a week with him at his flat. Full of wonderful mind games and dialogue Mister Hoffman only wants to share his love. The rather typical plot really involves only two people through out giving us lots of time to see what they can do.Written by
The Kid @ Bellevue
Peter Sellers' character from this film, was the closest one in resembling the real man off screen. See more »
When Hoffman and Janet Smith are having dinner in the apartment, there is a salad bowl immediately off Hoffman's right wrist in the camera shot to his face. Hoffman reaches for the wine, has both hands occupied and when the camera angle shifts to over his shoulder, the salad bowl has moved to the place mat between them which was empty in the previous camera angle. See more »
This is at once one of Peter Sellers' least-known and more interesting vehicles; the film is virtually a two-hander with Sinead Cusack (daughter of actor Cyril and later Mrs. Jeremy Irons) as the young girl blackmailed by a middle-aged colleague (Sellers) into becoming his lover, because he knows of her boyfriend's involvement in a robbery.
While the film is considered a comedy, it doesn't sound like it from that synopsis; it's really a character-driven piece on a serious theme mid-life crisis which has been treated several times over the years, though rarely in such perceptively intimate detail (for which it was deemed tasteless at the time). The humorous element (if one can call it that) springs from the fact that Sellers' character who had been fantasizing about Cusack for months doesn't have the courage to do anything with her once they're together! Incidentally, Hoffman's innately cruel nature was so similar to the real Peter Sellers that one might be inclined to think that his dialogue was improvised but this wasn't the case!
With this in mind, the film can be seen as talky (though Ernest Gebler's script, adapted from his own novel, does contain a smattering of good lines), low-key and claustrophobic (the narrative strays only occasionally from Sellers' flat, and the two almost never interact with other people) not to mention repetitive and overstretched at 113 minutes! One particular sequence included an ambitious shot lasting for some 18 minutes, which certainly belied the rumors that Sellers had suffered brain damage during that infamous incident from the early 1960s in which he suffered no less than seven heart attacks in one day. The film's happy-ending-of-sorts, then, is highly improbable but I guess it works well enough in this context (given that Cusack's boyfriend is depicted as a one-dimensional character and, therefore, no match for the intellectual Sellers).
Gerry Turpin's cinematography of the bleak London settings is one of the film's main assets, while the tone of romantic melancholy inherent in Ron Grainer's score and his Don Black-penned theme song, "If There Ever Is A Next Time" (sung by Matt Monro) infuses the whole film and even serves as exposition for the main narrative during its deliberately vague early stages. By the way, director Rakoff had already handled the same material as a TV production starring Donald Pleasance; at his own admission, the film version was too slow because the pace seemed to be dictated by the lead actor and professed to having misgivings also about the choice of music. As for Sellers himself, he was so disappointed with the final result that the star offered to buy back the negative from the producer and shoot it again from scratch (the film, in fact, was such a resounding flop that it wasn't shown in New York until 1982)!
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