DVD: The Peter Sellers Movie Collection
The Magic Christian (1969)
Sir Guy Grand (Peter Sellers) is an ostentatious, filthy rich man who adopts the homeless Youngman (Ringo Starr) and together they set out to mock and humiliate people to see just how far they will go for money.
The movie is VERY 1960’s; psychedelic and thumbing its nose at ‘the man’. Playing out in a series of vignettes, if one particular scene doesn’t tickle your funny bone, then there is always another not too far behind. Each one allowing for cameos by a series of well known names; Christopher Lee, Richard Attenborough, Raquel Welch, Spike Milligan, all of which will have you exclaiming “ooooh, look who it is!“.
The Magic Christian is a polarising movie and one which you’ll either turn off after 15 minutes, or it will become one of your favourite comedies. If you like early Monty Python and The Goons, then definitely give this one a try.
Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1973)
Much like in The Party, the story in Ghost in the Noonday Sun is secondary to the fantastic performance of Sellers who plays ‘Dick Scratcher’; a cook on a pirate ship who takes control and goes looking for hidden treasure.
Partly written and also partly directed by Sellers longtime collaborator Spike Milligan, Ghost in the Noonday Sun is a very silly pirate tale that’ll have you laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all.
The Great McGonagall (1975)
Once again teaming up with Spike Milligan (who plays the titular William McGonagall), Peter Sellers plays Queen Victoria…yes, you read that correctly…Queen Victoria. Though it is Spike Milligan that gets all the attention.
If you thought The Magic Christian was a little too bizarre for your comedy tastes, then The Great McGonagall will leave you baffled as Spike Milligan, as he often did, plays up to the camera and not only breaks the 4th wall, he dives head first through walls 5, 6 and 7, leaving the viewer constantly playing catch-up trying to process the madness that they’ve just seen while the next piece of craziness has already begun.
Another slice of comedy genius that will have you wanting to revisit Spike’s ‘Q’ series of shows.
The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)
Based on the novel by Anthony Hope, The Prisoner of Zenda screenplay was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais whose comedy CV’s are filled with some of the best television and film credits you can have. Zenda however, doesn’t quite hit the heights of a lot of their work.
Sellers is as reliable as always in multiple roles, it’s just unfortunate that there aren’t that many genuine laughs to be had, especially when compared to the absolute craziness of the 3 previous movies in this collection.
The Peter Sellers Movie Collection is a definite purchase if you want some wild and wacky humour.
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Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from discs kindly supplied by Fabulous Films.