Thursday, September 7, 2017
MR. STRANGELOVE: A BIOGRAPHY OF PETER SELLERS
"He was amoral, dangerous, vindictive, totally selfish, and yet had the charm of the devil." -- Sellers' first wife.
Mr. Strangelove adeptly traces the career and personal life of one of the cinema's funniest men, the brilliant Peter Sellers. There is his early association with Spike Milligan, with whom he did radio and TV programs; his relationship with his ever-loving if too controlling mother, Peg, as well as his several wives (including actress Britt Ekland) and children; and of course the many, many movies he appeared in. Sellers was like many powerful, successful film figures -- a man who could be monstrous one minute, even with his own children, and then turn around and be remarkably generous. Doted on by his mother, Sellers became self-absorbed at an early age, but many of his companions make clear that he could also be a very good friend. His career took precedence over everything else, as it does with so many driven film stars. Mr.. Strangelove also goes behind the scenes of Sellers' movies, both famous and obscure, such as The Pink Panther films, Dr. Strangelove, The Magic Christian, Being There, Murder By Death, The Wrong Box, and many, many more. Sikov perhaps spends too much time on Milligan and the Goons (a comedic group/program of which Sellers was a part early in his career); otherwise this is a solid bio.
Verdict: Interesting look at a comic genius. ***.