Mr. Topaze is an unassuming school teacher in an unassuming small French town who is honest to a fault. He is fired when he refuses to give a passing grade to a bad student, the grandson of a wealthy baroness. Castel Benac, a government official who runs a crooked financial business on the side, is persuaded by his mistress, Suzy, a musical comedy actress, to hire Mr. Topaze as the front man for his business. Gradually, Topaze becomes a rapacious financier who sacrifices his honesty for success and, in a final stroke of business bravado, fires Benac and acquires Suzy in the deal. An old friend and colleague, Tamise questions him and tells Topaze that if what he now says and practices indicates there are no more honest men. —IMDb
One of the greatest comic talents of his generation, Peter Sellers had an exceptional gift for losing himself in a character — so much so that, beyond his remarkable skill as a performer and his fondness for the humor of the absurd, it’s difficult to draw a connection between many of his best performances. While his fondness for playing multiple roles in the same film may have seemed like a stunt coming from many other actors, Sellers had the ability to make each character he played seem distinct and different, and while he was known and loved as a funnyman, only in a handful of roles was he able to explore the full range of his gifts, which suggested he could have had just as strong a career as a dramatic actor.
Born Richard Henry Sellers on September 8, 1925, Sellers was nicknamed “Peter” by his parents, Bill and Agnes Sellers, in memory of his brother, who was a stillbirth. Bill and Agnes made their living as performers on the British vaudeville circuit, and Sellers made his… read more