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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Peter Sellers Collection - Comic Icons [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£12.94+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 22 March 2014
I have always loved Peter Sellers' early films, and these are three choice examples. At so cheap a price, this boxset set is an irresistible buy.

However, like other boxsets in this series - Terry Thomas, Leslie Phillips for example - the films have been "cropped and zoomed". In simple terms this means that instead of seeing the original 4:3 image as released in the cinema at the time, you see a widescreen version. That's okay if you think that's how it should be, but certainly not okay if you have any notion of the original cinematographer's visual concept - or even if it's how you're accustomed to seeing the films in question. The problem is that you are forever seeing the tops of heads sliced off, disappearing feet etc etc. AND it doesn't help definition - "Only Two Can Play" isn't a great image, and it would definitely have helped if it had been kept to 4:3.

It seems a shame to grumble when at least we can see these movies, but I'm dumbfounded why this keeps happening to old films. I don't expect every old film to be given the full Criterion treatment, but a bit of basic respect would be nice.

What next? Colourisation of these black and white gems? Just to keep a few wallies happy?
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on 1 September 2017
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on 22 September 2017
A good collection of Sellers' films!
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on 25 May 2008
If you don't already have any of these movies, may I recommend this box set. Three of his best British films are here, together with a compilation of many of his finest and funniest moments (This last disk would would have been better with a bit of a comemntary or an introduction, but at least it does remind you of the odd film you may have overlooked, the man was in so many).

The films here are pre-Pink Panther, pre-super stardom, pre-OTT slapstick style acting and increasingly mad movies to suit that style. They represent the best of Sellers as a very gifted comedy character actor, when he was given great roles to perform with plenty of satire in them.

I'm Alright Jack is his major breakthrough picture, a very cleverly handled satire on British industry, a triumph of a film and gave Sellers a chance to show off his character acting talent. I doubt if many really expected a performance as riveting as he gave, though, and a new movie star was born.

The rather difficult to get hold of Only Two Can Play is a classy retelling of a K.Amis novel. Sellers' carefully nuanced character portrayal and his real acting abilty goes far deeper than just comedy in one of his straightest roles, making this movie a must see for this alone. Sellers plays a character who seems to be not too far away from his own, with his desire for women giving him trouble keeping his marriage together.

It's back to the Boulting Bros. for Heavens Above, and it's another fine character portrayal by PS, in a typical BB satire, very satirical and sharply observed. A lovely selection if you don't yet have these fine movies, and a great reminder of his immense acting talent.
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on 11 March 2009
It's great to have such classic films in one collection, but who wrote the cover notes? Apparently, in "I'm All Right, Jack", Sellers plays "a naïve ex-soldier who unwittingly ends up as a pawn in the machinations between management and the trade unions". Surely, Fred Kite is one of Peter Sellers' most significant rôles. If Studio Canal / Optimum Releasing are going to employ copywriters, can they please employ people who know and care about what they are doing! Fortunately, the inner notes for the individual films make good the mistake.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 August 2011
I bought this boxset mainly for the drama set in the Welsh Valleys, 'Only Two Can Play'. I'd only been aware of having seen it on UK TV just the once and was keen to see it again. Based on Kingsley Amis's play That Uncertain Feeling it shows Sellers as the married librarian who's out for an affair and in which he displays a fine Valleys lilt, fairly understated, rather like his reserved and fine performance. A fine mixture of kitchen sink and sex comedy, typical of the period.

'I'm Alright Jack' probably remains as Seller's most assured and most loved straight performance, where Ian Carmichael takes about the only comedic role. He's the naive graduate who wants to make waves in the factory, Sellers is the uptight trade unionist he upsets. It says a lot about trade unionism, then and now and a great snapshot of an industrial Britain being increasingly held to ransom by strikes. The almost one joke story repeats itself very well. It's a fine film all round.

Unfortunately, 'Heavens Above!' is weak and a bit of a bore. Sellers plays a vicar but he just doesn't shine, the material being far too cosy and safe. The title itself teeters on that Sunday early evening prime-time popularist shelf.

The final 'stocking filler' disc is a surprisingly welcome extra of loads of his TV and movie "best bits". All the ones you know and many that you don't. Unfortunately, they do include the very best one-liners from the films that one has just watched on the other DVDs in the set.

It's a smart set, all nicely laid out in white and blue and with introductory blurb to each disc. All in all, just gets the 5 stars due to two standout films and an amusing pile of constant one-liners, gags and spoofs. There was probably none finer at that clipped, sharp tongued retort and whose facial mannerisms could show sneer and delight at almost the same time. A joy (mostly!)
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on 25 November 2011
Two great films here and one mediocre one. Only Two Can Play is a good film about an affair that never really gets off the ground. The settings and location filming are spot on, it has a real flavour of the early sixties. I'm Alright Jack is a stunningly good film, so good in fact that it was shown in the school hall as part of my 'O' level Economics course way back in 1975!!! From 1959, again a great period piece and the acting is just superb, Ian Carmichael doing what he does best (one of my favourite actors) and of course Peter Sellers as the union man, such a versatile and entertaining actor, arguably at his peak here? Only one mans opinion but I found his later famous role in the Pink Panther as rather unfunny, especially with hindsight. These two films are a much better legacy,I never tire of watching them.
The third film, Heavens Above, is, for me, interesting but not one I will sit down and watch again.
On the basis of the first two films, five stars, it loses one as a package because of the third.
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on 19 February 2013
Great period films from the great late Mr. Sellers. 'Heavens Above' is just brilliant and Sellers' portrail of a good, honest, devout Christain, is a master class in how a Christian should relate to others, while walking in faith with his Lord. And the irony is of course, is that Sellers was not (as far as l am aware) a practicing Christian!!!!!!!!
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on 21 May 2014
The box set is fine & there is nothing to add that has not already been said.
However Amazon do need to get their act together as it has already been pointed out that the cover notes are incorrect & yet they have still not amended them.
As any fan &/or viewer will know it was Stan Windrush played by Ian Carmichael who got caught between the Trades Unions & Management in "I'm Alright Jack". Sellers was great as the shop steward Fred Kite uncannily reflecting the real or perceived power these men had at the time.
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on 17 May 2013
A well chosen trio of Sellers favourites which show his versatility as a character actor, and his impeccable comedy timing. The synopsis on this site suggests that he plays the ex soldier in 'I'm all right Jack' whereas this part was played by Ian Carmichael, however Sellers role as the shop steward is well worth watching, coupled with old favourites John le Mesurier, Terry Thomas, Irene Handl, Richard Attenborough, Dennis Price, Margaret Rutherford...the list goes on and on. The other two films are equally representative of the period and the host of british stars who interpreted the Boulting brothers scripts so well.
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