Peter Sellers Gives a Quick Demonstration of British Accents

A while ago we brought you a hilar­i­ous series of record­ings of the British comedic actor Peter Sell­ers read­ing The Bea­t­les’ “She Loves You” in four dif­fer­ent accents. Today we have a brief clip from a tele­phone call by Sell­ers on the set of Stan­ley Kubrick­’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Wor­ry­ing and Love the Bomb (in which Sell­ers played three dif­fer­ent roles). Here he demon­strates the nuances of a few of the many accents around Great Britain. From cock­ney to upper class and from Lon­don to Edin­burgh, it’s clas­sic Sell­ers all the way.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Peter Sell­ers: His Life in Home Movies

Peter Sell­ers Per­forms The Bea­t­les in Shake­speare­an Mode

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Comments (3)
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  • Weird. Sell­ers is obvi­ous­ly on the set of *Dr. Strangelove*, made up as Pres­i­dent Merkin Muf­fley and prob­a­bly just fin­ished doing the scene where, in his Amer­i­can accent, he talks to his Sovi­et coun­ter­part, Pre­mier Dmitri Kissoff. (“Now, Dmitri, you know how we’ve always talked about some­thing going wrong the The Bomb. [beat] The *Bomb*, Dmitri. [beat] The *hydro­gen* Bomb.”) He looks as if he’s being asked about accents by some­one on the phone — but the phone’s got to be a prop, no? This lit­tle shtick is cry­ing out for some con­text!

  • DearieMe says:

    Here’s the con­text: I saw this same clip on the DVD extras for the film. This is an excerpt from one of the “inter­views” Sell­ers did for pro­mot­ing Dr. Strangelove. The films of the inter­views, com­plete with paus­es, were sent to tele­vi­sion sta­tions, along with a print­ed list of the ques­tions Sell­ers was asked. The idea was that a local enter­tain­ment reporter could be shown in split screen with Sell­ers, hold a tele­phone receiv­er as if talk­ing to him, and ask the pre­pared ques­tions. It would then look like the per­son was inter­view­ing Sell­ers live via tele­phone. Anoth­er sim­i­lar film was done with George C. Scott.

  • OddEdges says:

    This is why Open­Cul­ture is THE BEST

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