|Directed by||Alvin Rakoff|
|Produced by||Ben Arbeid|
|Written by||Ernest Gébler|
|Based on||novel Shall I Eat You Now? by Ernest Gebler|
Jennifer Ruth Dunning
|Music by||Ron Grainer|
|Edited by||Barrie Vince|
Longstone Film Productions
|Distributed by||Anglo-EMI (UK)
American Continental (US)
|Running time||113 min.|
It is notable for the haunting music by Ron Grainer, the theatrical art of scene setting, fine color cinematography, and as one of Sellers' few 'straight' performances.
Hoffman is the satirical tale of an older man, played by Peter Sellers, who pressures a young woman to come to his flat in London. As the film progresses, it is revealed that Sellers' character has caught one of his workers dealing in a scam against his company, and has decided to blackmail the man's lovely fiancée away for a full week to convince her to fall in love with him instead. A witty drama rather than a comedy, the film has an almost terrifying performance by Sellers, involved in intricate mind games with the other protagonists.
Reportedly, Sellers despised Hoffman because the lead character too closely reflected his own personality. According to Bryan Forbes, who was head of the studio that financed the film, Sellers went through a depressive phase after filming was completed and he asked to buy back the negative and remake the movie. He also gave an interview where he said the film was a disaster.
The film was not a success at the box office.
- Bryan Forbes, A Divided Life, Mandarin Paperbacks 1993 p106
- City comment: Soon the darkness, The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 08 Mar 1971: 12.
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