BEING THERE
1979, Warner Bros., 130 min, USA, Dir: Hal Ashby

In one of his most sublime performances, Peter Sellers stars as a simpleton who gains great influence when his pronouncements are mistaken for profundities in director Hal Ashby’s hilarious adaptation of the Jerzy Kosinski novel. As gardener Chance, he must leave the Washington, D.C., estate to which he’s tended his entire life after its owner dies. Wandering the streets, he’s struck by a limousine and taken under the wing of its passenger, Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), and her power-broker husband (Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas). Be sure to stay through the end credits!


TOM THUMB
1958, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: George Pal

In this charming Brothers Grimm musical fantasy, a woodcutter and his wife are magically granted their wish for a son – but the boy is the size of a thumb. Russ Tamblyn is at his acrobatic best in the title role, and there’s some top comedic talent lurking in supporting roles, with Peter Sellers and Terry-Thomas as a pair of thieves and Stan Freberg supplying the voice of an animated toy. Oscar winner for Best Special Effects.


THE LADYKILLERS
1955, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, UK, Dir: Alexander Mackendrick

Among the last of the great Ealing Studios comedies, and one of the few shot in color, this delightful film stars Alec Guinness as Professor Marcus, a musician who rents a room from a widow (Katie Johnson) to use as a rehearsal space. At least that’s what he tells her; Marcus and his “string quartet” (which includes Peter Sellers and his future PINK PANTHER nemesis, Herbert Lom) are actually criminals plotting a robbery. When the old lady finally realizes the truth, the gang decides to kill her - but that’s easier said than done.


Syndicate content