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Director/star Peter Sellers’ 1961 “lost” comedy ‘Mr. Topaze’ available to stream

‘Mr. Topaze’ will be available in a new 2K restoration from Film Movement and Music Box Theatre as a Virtual Cinema presentation, beginning Friday, June 12.

Long considered a “lost” classic, as well as actor Peter Sellers’ first and only credited directorial feature, “Mr. Topaze” displays the British comic genius at the peak of his powers. The film has been digitally restored from the lone surviving 35mm print in the BFI National Archive at the request of the British public.

Unwilling to sacrifice his principles, Auguste Topaze (Peter Sellers), a poor but proud French schoolmaster, loses his job after he refuses to alter the failing grades of one of students. Seizing the opportunity to exploit his well-known honesty, actress Suzy Courtois (Nadia Gray) convinces her lover, the corrupt city council member Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), to hire Topaze as a managing director for one of his shady businesses. But when Topaze learns he is being used, he cunningly turns the tables on Benac.

IMG 2162“Sellers imbues [the film] with a sense of fun that is right up there with his finest work of the period. Based on a Marcel Pagnol play, it boasts a fine understated central turn from Sellers himself and a stellar cast.” — The Irish News

The Virtual Cinema experience was created to assist temporarily closed independent theaters. By purchasing a “ticket,” you’ll be directly supporting Music Box Theatre, as all revenue is being shared between distributor and exhibitor—just as if you bought your ticket at the theater’s box office.

For information on rentals, click here:

(The Virtual Cinema Link will be available June 12.)

Pricing & Scheduling:

Rentals are $12 and are good for three days. Your purchase will go toward supporting Music Box Theatre during our temporary closure.

Become a member:

Operating since 1929, the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films for more than three decades, playing host to over 200,000 patrons annually. It currently has the largest theater space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD, and television markets throughout the United States.

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