A fresh look at the remarkable artistry of Peter Sellers that includes clips, rare memorabilia and contemporary interviews with his co-stars, friends and family.
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Most of the moviegoing public is familiar with Peter Sellers's classic roles in films such as Dr. Strangelove, The Pink Panther, Lolita, and A Shot in the Dark. However, plenty of examples exist of his earlier work that rarely see the light of day. The Unknown Peter Sellers traces the comic actor from his days entertaining RAF troops during World War II to the triumphs of his latter-day movie career. Sellers helped create the genre-breaking, anarchic radio comedy The Goon Show, as well as the equally off-the-wall BBC TV series A Show Called Fred. More obscure, however, are several films directed by or starring Sellers, ones that have only been seen by a handful of people. The tantalizing clips from Sellers's early career show his flair for physical comedy, one that owes much to silent stars such as Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel, and Monty Python's Michael Palin discusses Sellers's influence on his own 1960s TV series. Also included are snippets of Sellers teaming with director Richard Lester with the plotless, surreal short The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Movie, which was instrumental in Lester's selection for the Beatles' Hard Day's Night movie.
Despite his phenomenal success as a versatile, inventive comic actor, Sellers's life was fraught with trouble, and The Unknown Peter Sellers doesn't gloss over any of it. This is essential viewing for fans of Peter Sellers, teasing the audience with glimpses of his early career and the films many may still never see. --Jerry Renshaw
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