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Musical Project: Best Leading Actor 1964: Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

March 28, 2013

Dr. Strangelove is a very enjoyable satire with one of the worsts titles ever. It’s very funny sometimes, even though the topic of it is very serious. In some moments it’s extremely crazy and the proof of it is the fact that Peter Sellers played three characters in it.
First of all I have to say Sellers did a wonderful job by separating these characters, so that they are all different from each other. Each character is very unique and maybe if I didn’t know it before watching the film, I wouldn’t even notice that these three characters are played by the same actor (which is also thanks to the great makeup).
The first character is Captain Mandrake. At the beginning of the film I didn’t like this portrayal of Seller’s. He chose a very subtle way of performing, which made it a bit forgettable. But from the scene in Ripper’s office he started to go on with a great passion. The best scene of this performance would probably be the scene, in which the shooting starts.
The second character is the President Muffley. This is probably the most subtle, yet still very powerful performance. In the first scene Sellers just rarely uses the mimicry and it works perfectly well. I would really have a hard time choosing the best scene of it, because it is equally good in all of the moments, but his fight with George C. Scott’s character is really memorable, so I perhaps have to go with that.
The third performance is finally Dr. Strangelove. This character (though it’s in the title) appears after fifty minutes of the film. He can be seen before, actually, but he just sits in the corner and has nothing to do. Though it definitely is the shortest performance (it only appears in about three scenes), I consider it the best. Sellers is perfect using the accent, mimicry, moves, gestures. He is really theatrical, but all of the performances here are. It’s even needed for them to be. Dr. Strangelove is funny and extremely enjoyable and I completely understand that it was this character that got into the title.
At the end I must complain about ignoring a magnificent performance of George C. Scott by the Academy. He was really flawless…
The chances of winning an Oscar: I don’t think they were big. This is not a type of roles Oscars are given to. They were very probably lower than Quinn’s…

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One Comment
  1. A really fun performance he does something unique with each of the characters.

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