MR. TOPAZE
1961, Film Movement, 97 min, UK, Dir: Peter Sellers

Unwilling to sacrifice his principles, Auguste Topaze (Peter Sellers), a poor but proud French schoolmaster, loses his job after he refuses to alter the failing grades of one of students. Seizing the opportunity to exploit his well-known honesty, actress Suzy Courtois (Nadia Gray) convinces her lover, the corrupt city council member Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), to hire Topaze as a managing director for one of his shady businesses. But when Topaze learns he is being used, he cunningly turns the tables on his deceivers and makes off with all of the money. Seller’s first and only credited directorial feature, MR. TOPAZE displays the British comic genius at the peak of his powers alongside his future PINK PANTHER nemesis Herbert Lom and a stellar supporting cast that includes Leo McKern, Billie Whitelaw and Michael Gough. Believed to be “lost” for years, MR. TOPAZE was digitally restored from the lone surviving 35mm print in the BFI archives at the request of the British public.


HELL DRIVERS
1957, Park Circus, 101 min, UK, Dir: Cy Endfield

An ex-con (Stanley Baker) trying to go straight takes a job driving for a corrupt trucking company, where the bosses pit the drivers against each other in a dangerous competition that leads to higher profits and ... death! Peggy Cummins is the saucy secretary who flirts her way through an array of up-and-coming stars. A gear-grinding masterpiece!


MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
1961, Sony Repertory, 101 min, UK, Dir: Cy Endfield

Based on Jules Verne's sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND follows a group of Confederate prisoners during the Civil War who escape using an enemy balloon, only to find themselves blown off-course to a remote island, populated by monstrous creatures and the enigmatic Captain Nemo (Herbert Lom) himself! Directed by Cy Endfield (ZULU, TRY AND GET ME) in a rare fantasy outing, with a superb score by maestro Bernard Herrmann. With Michael Craig, Joan Greenwood, Michael Callan, Gary Merrill.


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