The three films under consideration were, “The Assam Garden” (1986), “Bedelia” (1946) and “Mr. Topaze.” With over 2000 votes cast, the Seller classic emerged as the winner.
The film is a witty comedy about a provincial French schoolteacher turned rapacious businessman. This was the actor’s official directorial debut and had him work alongside Billie Whitelaw, Leo McKern, John le Mesurier, Joan Sims and his “Pink Panther” series co-star Herbert Lom.
The BFI National Archive has produced a cleaned-up digital version using the only known surviving prints, held in its own collections and some of Sellers’ personal copy on 16mm acquired in 1997. “Mr. Topaze” is now accessible to the public via the Archive’s VOD platform, BFI Player, and is part of the new collection Forgotten Features, which shows a great selection of British films that disappeared from public views. The collection is currently available online.
The Sellers “lost classic” is free to view starting April 30 until Monday, May 2 and after that will be available on pay per view. Click here to enter the site.