best film: Dr. Strangelove. This one is not close at all. Perhaps it’ll change without another viewing (though I’ve seen it four times) I have Lolita outside of Kubrick’s to 10 films and clearly Strangelove is much stronger. The next closest film would be Hal Ashby’s Being There and I’m below the critical consensus on that one as well.

best performance:   Dr. Strangelove. I think I might have seen the film once or twice before I realized it was Sellers in all three roles. It’s fun to rank the best performance WITHIN this one performance- not sure I’ve had that before. Haha. The finale and justifiably iconic scenes with title character Dr. Strangelove is hard to top. However, as you rewatch it over the years his Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake may be the funniest in the film. It’s a dazzling performance that shows off three accents and unique characters.

stylistic innovations/traits: He is much like fellow brit (and co-start in The Ladykillers where he was support) Alec Guinness in his ability to play different nationalities. His Insp. Jacques Clouseau is French of course, he plays a German/Englishman and US president in Strangelove. He plays an Indian in The Party. He had a reputation for being difficult to work with (great pairing with Kubrick! Haha) and perhaps that’s why he only had nine total archiveable films (which hurts him here) on this ranking. He’s brilliant in a Masterpiece (Strangelove) and Being There and the Pink Panther series (the first two are excellent) give him some depth and keep him from being more of a one-hit wonder candidate.

directors worked with:   Blake Edwards (3), Kubrick (2) and then Hal Ashby once

Top 5 Performances:

  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. Being There
  3. The Pink Panther
  4. Lolita
  5. The Party

Archiveable films

1955- Ladykillers
1959- The Mouse that Roared
1962- Lolita
1963- The Pink Panther
1964- A Shot In the Dark
1964- Dr. Strangelove
1968- The Party
1976- Murder By Numbers
1979- Being There