Hoffman (film)

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"Hoffman" (1970 film).jpg
British quad poster
Directed by Alvin Rakoff
Produced by Ben Arbeid
Written by Ernest Gébler
Based on novel Shall I Eat You Now? by Ernest Gebler
Starring Peter Sellers
Sinéad Cusack
Ruth Dunning
Jeremy Bulloch
Music by Ron Grainer
Cinematography Gerry Turpin
Edited by Barrie Vince
Longstone Film Productions
Distributed by Anglo-EMI (UK)
American Continental (US)
Release dates
  • 1970 (1970)
Running time
113 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Hoffman is a 1970 British film directed by Alvin Rakoff and starring Peter Sellers, Sinéad Cusack, Ruth Dunning and Jeremy Bulloch.[1]

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.


The movie was one of the first greenlit by Bryan Forbes while he was head of EMI Films.[2]

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.[3] He also gave an interview where he said the film was a disaster.[4]


The film was not a success at the box office.[5]


  1. ^ "Hoffman (1969)". BFI. 
  2. ^ "Bryan Forbes". Telegraph.co.uk. 9 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Peter Sellers 90th anniversary: 10 essential films". British Film Institute. 
  4. ^ Bryan Forbes, A Divided Life, Mandarin Paperbacks 1993 p106
  5. ^ City comment: Soon the darkness, The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 8 March 1971: 12.

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