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Only Two Can Play [VHS] [1962]

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell, Richard Attenborough
  • Directors: Sidney Gilliat
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Mono, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: PG
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VVLNE0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,936 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Based on the novel, "That Uncertain Feeling" by Kingsley Amis, this is a really good British comedy with Sellers as a bored librarian, still at his best before his mistaken move to more American orientated films. A wonderful performances by Kenneth Griffith as the librarian's friend, Virginia Maskell as his put-upon wife and Mia Zetterling as the other woman.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
Having have lived in the Welsh Valleys for a good while a few years ago, I really feel for this poignant, witty and largely forgotten and unknown little drama about a librarian. And his wife and his little romantic 'adventure' on the side.

It's far sweeter than the average English kitchen sink, is superbly adapted from a Kinglsey Amis novel and features an array of familiar faces, from John Le Messieur and Richard Attenborough with Kenneth Griffith as a rather ridiculed and pathetically nerdy fellow librarian.

Peter Sellers is natural, the accent pitch perfect and his wife and family (great little daughter, full of big-eyed mischief & wonder) believable. His foray into an affair is rather glaringly obvious for a close-knit valley town to realistically withstand though I think there's a good balance between 'nudge-nudge, wink-wink' innuendo, which is usually wittily rather than crudely expressed and the more hum-drum, everyday scenes. Comedy is in there, but as a supporting act, so to speak and is nicely done.

Librarians generally get a rather staid and boring label and it would be far too obvious - and wrong - to have a zany character, or Sellers playing one. But, as in any profession, libraries employ different sorts and get all manner of customers.

Overall there's a warmth and freshness that I find endearing, though I might be a little biased. If you get a chance to see it, go for it. Apart from my originally seeing it on UK TV about 6 years ago, I've not seen that it's been shown since and only now have I been reacquainted with it on DVD.

You can find it on The Peter Sellers Collection, included with it are I'm Alright Jack and Heaven's Above along with a disc that features a compilation of Seller's best TV work.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Only Two can Play (1962)

So long as you are able to accept that life is comedy then this can be a true-life story for you.

Sellers plays John Lewis (nothing to do with the department store that is proud of never being undersold) a librarian in a south Welsh town with a fictitious, implausible sounding name. (I lived and worked in Welsh Wales for twenty years.)

As backdrop, Lewis is hoping to gain promotion so as to be able to give his wife Jean (Virginia Maskell) and two young children a better deal. The problem is that he has a roving eye, and a library provides a good selection of female talent to pass in and out of the building for his scrutiny.

A colleague with an appropriately long, Welsh name (Ieuan Jenkins for short), played to his usual perfection - and in his element - by Kenneth Griffith, is also looking for promotion. (The two were closely paired in that fine comedy "The Naked Truth".)

Richard Attenborough has a comparatively minor part as a playwright and general wordsmith, Gareth Probert, who once had a relationship of sorts with Mrs Lewis. There is no love lost between Attenborough and Sellers (in the film at any rate!) and it is to Attenborough's credit that he performs the part of a priggish third-rater quite convincingly.

Quite early on into the film, Liz Gruffydd Williams (Mai Zetterling) turns up at the library and immediately throws down the bait under the Sellers nose. Liz's husband, Vernon (Raymond Huntley), chairs the committee for the selection process, before which Sellers, Griffiths and others will perform in their quest for the library post. And this is the tastiest bait of all, and one for which Sellers attempts, somewhat casually it has to be said, a shot at with many a slip along the way.
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Format: DVD
A favorite of mine, Only Two Can Play shows once again how versatile Sellers can be. His Welsh accent is lovely and the supporting cast is perfect in their roles. Attenborough as the puffed up Welsh playwright, Raymond Huntley as the local gentry, John LeMesurier as his manservant, the list goes on and I'm sure you will see many familair faces in this little gem. They don't make films like this any more...
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An outstandingly funny film. Peter Sellers relishes the Welsh accent, and gives a bravura performance. Kenneth Griffiths suitably creepy as his work colleague, and an excellent supporting caste. Why don't we have gentle comedy like this today?
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What a fantastic film! Set in my home town therefore I know a lot of the locations, although they are poorly sequenced, so that a bus in one area turns a corner - into another area 2 miles away. Other than that, brilliantly written and acted.
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