Peter Sellers Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

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$34.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Two-Way Stretch
Peter Sellers stars as an inmate in a "model prison" run by Maurice Denham. Though Sellers is disinclined to escape (he's never been as comfortable in his life), he is convinced to do so by phony vicar Wilfred Hyde-White, who breaks into jail to outline a robbery scheme. Hyde-White's plan is to have Sellers and his cellmates David Lodge and Bernard Cribbins take a brief "vacation" from jail, pull off a big-time robbery, then return undetected to prison, thereby establishing a perfect alibi. Within its 87-minute time span, Two-Way Stretch takes satirical potshots at political bleeding hearts, obese Middle Eastern potentates, and regulation-bound British police officials. One cannot be faulted for wishing that Peter Sellers had stuck to engaging small-scale British farces such as this and had never ventured into such unamusing big-budgeters as The Bobo and There's a Girl in My Soup. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Heavens Above!
Considered a bit too sacrilegious for general consumption in 1963, the Boulting brothers' Heavens Above was simply ahead of its time, and has since accrued a loyal and vocal following. Peter Sellers plays an idealistic British reverend with a bad habit of telling the truth at all times. He also follows his conscience whenever possible, resulting in several cleric decisions that shock his wealthy, landed-gentry parishioners. By inviting such "undesirables" as gypsies and West Africans to worship freely in his church, Sellers rouses the ire of the rest of his white-bread flock. He does, however, compel the selfish owner (Isabel Jeans) of a laxative firm to "see the light" and to sell off all her holdings on behalf of the poor and downtrodden. Unfortunately, by doing this the woman wrecks her business--which is the principal source of income for the community where Sellers works. Retreating from town with an angry mob on his heels, Sellers relocates on a tiny island in the Pacific. Since the island is the site of a missile base, and since the local astronauts have shown signs of agnosticism, where else is there for Sellers to go...but up? Heavens Above was inspired by a notion cooked up by iconoclastic British satirist Malcolm Muggeridge. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Carlton-Browne of the F.O.
This is an uneven though occasionally hilarious comedy about a remote British colony and diplomatic blunders. Terry-Thomas as a British diplomat and Peter Sellers as a nasty, vile Prime Minister on the island, tend to overshadow the roles they are playing. Carlton-Browne (Terry-Thomas) is sent to the remote island of Gaillardia to prevent any other powers from tapping into its potentially rich mineral deposits. The fact that the Brits have ignored Gaillardia for the last fifty years or that Carlton-Browne is a walking disaster does not stop the Foreign Office. Circumstances quickly spin out of control as the island colony heads toward revolution with a new, young king (Ian Bannen) on the throne. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

I'm All Right Jack
Set in the 1950s in Britain, this award-winning social comedy by director and co-writer John Boulting features Ian Carmichael as the inept Stanley Windrush, a hopeless twit with -- we are to believe -- an Oxford degree. Unlike others in his social circle, Stanley wants to work. When he tries out for jobs in industry with the full expectation of working his way into a management position, he sets off disasters and alienates his interviewers. So his uncle gives him a job in his munitions factory, knowing what an idiot he is, and relying on him to eventually cause a strike (the uncle needs this for his own reasons). Fred Kite (Peter Sellers in a performance that would launch him as an international star) takes Stanley under his wing yet that does not exactly turn out as expected either. Stanley screws up by accidentally being too efficient, and the entire British work force is affected. If one can accept a portrayal of factory workers as shiftless men unwilling to work, and managers as good 'ole boys whose jobs are gained only by networking, then this film will be all the more entertaining. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The Smallest Show on Earth
The Smallest Show on Earth is a gentle, frequently uproarious takeoff of Britain's neighborhood-cinema industry. Real-life husband and wife Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna star as Matt and Jean Spencer, a middle-class couple who inherit a decrepit movie house in a tiny railroad whistle stop. They also inherit the theater's ancient, doddering employees: bibulous ticket-taker Percy Quill (Peter Sellers), former silent-movie accompanist Mrs. Fazackalee (Margaret Rutherford) and doorman/janitor old Tom (Bernard Miles). Making the best of things, the Spencers set up shop going through the usual travails of small-time cinema owners: substandard projection and sound reproduction, a dismal selection of films (all they can afford is American B-Westerns), and sundry mishaps with the audience. Just when they're about to write off the theater as a loss, crafty old Tom comes up with an underhanded but effective method to allow the Spencers to make a huge profit on their shaky enterprise. Though chock full of entertaining vignettes, the best and most poignant scene in The Smallest Show on Earth finds the three elderly employees tearfully reveling in a nostalgic screening of the 1924 silent film Comin' Thro' the Rye. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Peter Sellers
    Peter Sellers - Dodger Lane
  • Wilfrid Hyde-White
    Wilfrid Hyde-White - Soapy Stevens
  • David Lodge
    David Lodge - Jelly Knight
  • Bernard Cribbins
    Bernard Cribbins - Lennie Price
  • Maurice Denham
    Maurice Denham - Comdr. Horatio Bennet
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