- Actors: Geoffrey Rush, Charlize Theron, Emily Watson, John Lithgow, Miriam Margolyes
- Directors: Stephen Hopkins
- Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
- Run Time: 122 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0007IK5YQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,202 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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The Life and Death of Peter Sellers [DVD] 
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Feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered for playing Inspector Clousseau in the Pink Panther movies, offering a glimpse into the many faces of Peter Sellers (Geoffrey Rush) to reveal how the comic genius teetered on the edge of insanity. The film traces the British actor's turbulent rise from the popular BBC radio presenter on 'The Goon Show' to one of the world's best-loved comic actors. As his career progresses, Sellers' private torment about his failure to reconcile his relations with women, celebrity and his many selves is divulged, as is his desperately low self-esteem despite critical acclaim and professional success. A searching look behind the mask of a comedy icon, through his rapid rise to fame, through his four marriages and several affairs.
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Top Customer Reviews
We are given a glimpse of Sellar's home life, his strong relationship with his mother and his frustration at receiving so many rejections from the film industry. But after a cheeky stroke of audition genius and a quick montage, we are presented with Peter Sellers the successful British Academy award winning actor.
He is charmingly delusional, but this leads him to show a cold insensitivity towards his family. He doesn't seem to know or even care that he is hurting his wife and children, he's like a child living in his own world where he is at the centre of his own universe. When you see that he really does seem like a child then you start to understand where all the silly voices come from, it also explains why he is still very much attached to his mother's apron strings. Instead of looking at him as a cruel man, you view him as someone who struggles to understand the complexities of adult relationships, he just knows what he wants and sets out to get it - and being eminently charming and something of a national treasure, he tends to get it.
Geoffrey Rush convinces as Sellers, he has incorporated many of Sellers' characteristics into his performance, little nuances and expressions that capture the man. He certainly sounds like Sellers and the make up gives his profile an eerily Sellers' like appearance. Rush plays Sellars over a period of three decades and grows into the role, as his Seller's ages he looks more like him.Read more ›
Geoffrey Rush is phenomenal as Sellers; and I especially like the scenes when he becomes his mother, as well as Blake Edwards. Rush is made to look somewhat like Sellers, but it is the body language and the verbal inflection that makes this portrayal so convincing.
Others in the cast are also excellent: Miriam Margoyles as his mother, Emily Watson as wife # 1, Charlize Theron as Britt Ekland, Stanley Tucci as Stanley Kubrick, Stephen Fry amusing as celebrity psychic Maurice Woodruff, and the very underrated John Lithgow once again terrific as Blake Edwards. Sonia Aquino is impressive in the small part of Sophia Loren.
The direction by Stephen Hopkins is stylish and well-paced, and the score by Richard Hartley is peppered with Tom Jones singing "It's Not Unusual", and other songs that fit into the timeline from The Animals, The Kinks, and more.
A way above average Cable TV production, it's a riveting look at a great talent gone wrong, and a "must see" for Rush's performance alone. Total running time is 122 minutes.
I wonder how many viewers of this dazzlingly stylish film will bother to watch it with the audio commentary by Geoffrey Rush and director Hopkins, wherein they clearly admit that several of these “incidents” never actually occurred, but were done for artistic convenience, for example, to try to convey years of tension and tribulations in a moment’s time, as is the case in a scene where Sellers supposedly bashes Blake Edwards at a latter-day Panther premiere. Similarly, I have read Michael Sellers’ comments (his son) following the release of the film, and he stated that the bathroom/pill scene never happened.
I am not suggesting that Sellers was not a tremendously complicated, sometimes troubled, frequently difficult person. But the version of Sellers that is brought to life like a chimera here is not one that was arrived at with a sense of compassion, balance and realism. Imagine if your own life story were being told—and at every juncture, in every situation, you were depicted in the absolute worst light. Every negative magnified and every positive minimized. Such is the nature of the book upon which this movie is based. We all have moments and characteristics we aren’t proud of, but they do not define the totality of us as people. Peter Sellers’ totality was an incredibly complex one.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting film that you don't see on TV. Well worth a watch!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not a bad effort in essence. Rush is fairly good as Sellers, but for me it is a slightly grim film that never really gets going. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lloyd Hopkins
A respectable attempt at capturing the strange mentality of Peter Sellers. The problem with this film is that Peter Sellers was such a huge presence that one kept wishing it WAS... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Katherine