Unwilling to sacrifice his principles, Albert 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 and makes off with all the money. Seller’s first and only credited directorial feature, Mr. Topaze displays the British comic genius at the peak of his powers alongside his future Pink Panther nemesis Herbert Lom and a stellar supporting cast that includes Nadia Gray, Leo McKern, Billie Whitelaw and Michael Gough. Long considered a “lost” classic, Mr. Topaze was digitally restored at the request of the British public from the last known surviving 35mm prints held in the BFI National Archive.
Let’s Go Crazy (1951) – a madcap short film starring Peter Sellers and his Goon Show co-star Spike Milligan
The Poetry of Realism (2019) – Kat Ellinger video essay on auteur Marcel Pagnol, the playwright of Topaze
Abigail McKern Interview (2019) – Leo McKern’s daughter discusses her father’s life and career
24-page booklet with notes on the film’s rediscovery by BFI curator Vic Pratt and a new essay by Roger Lewis, author of The Life and Death of Peter Sellers