For Those With Gaps in Their Sellers-Ography


As Warren Beatty used to introduce himself, according to neophyte screenwriter Woody Allen, but this DVD release’s occasion is to gaze in dumbfounded wonder at the comic miracle that was Peter Sellers. A chameleonic drag maniac and pratfaller who underplayed everything, even falling through ceilings in the Pink Panther films, Sellers was, it seems now, an underappreciated genius, even if his films rarely lived up to his capped-volcano urbanity. In this preposterous 1965 farce—made when sex, publicly joshed about, was still funny—Sellers is a lunatic quack treating Peter O’Toole for chronic infidelity. Sellers reading the phone book would’ve killed, and for those with gaps in their Sellers-ography, this box includes three more, all but forgotten movies: The Naked Truth (1957), in which vengeful actor Sellers looks to assassinate gossip sheet blackmailer Dennis Price, with help from Terry-Thomas; the decidedly unfunny The Blockhouse (1973), in which a handful of bombing survivors (Sellers, Peter Vaughan, Charles Aznavour, etc.) during WW II get trapped in a bunker and begin to prey on each other; and Never Let Go (1960), an even stranger (for Sellers) adventure in snippy-Brit noir, with Sellers as the brutal leader of an auto theft ring.