“Getting rid of people seems to be a hobby of yours!”
A game show host (Peter Sellers), a mystery writer (Peggy Mount), a model (Shirley Eaton), and a womanizing lord (Terry-Thomas) unsuccessfully try to murder the journalist (Dennis Price) who is blackmailing them.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Black Comedy
- Mistaken Identities
- Peter Sellers Films
- Plot to Murder
The premise of this amiable British black comedy starts off with a bang, as Price’s unapologetically sleazy gossipmonger provokes consternation (or worse) in a bevy of celebrities with smear-worthy skeletons in their closets — until a small handful of his victims suddenly decide that enough is enough. The rest of the film is taken up with their various attempts (solo or collaborative) to “off” him, with Sellers having plenty of fun dressing up in various disguises, gap-toothed Terry-Thomas playing essentially a variation on his usual self, and gravelly-voiced Peggy Mount exhibiting fine comedic rapport with Joan Sims as her nervous-nellie daughter. Unfortunately, the one-note situation eventually wears out its welcome: it drags on for a bit too long, and (ironically) Price is gone too long off-screen. While it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics, however, fans of Sellers will surely want to see this early pivotal film in his career — one which afforded him his first leading role, and catapulted him to even greater fame.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Peter Sellers as Sonny MacGregor
- Peggy Mount and Joan Sims as as Flora and Ethel Ransom
No, though it’s worth seeking out for one-time viewing.