Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 20th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Director: Anthony Simmons
Writer: Tudor Gates, Anthony Simmons
Cast: Peter Sellers, Marjorie Yates, Donna Mullane, John Chaffey, David Daker
DVD released: June 3rd, 2008
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Legend Films/Paramount Pictures
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A brother and sister strike up the most unlikely of friendships with an eccentric street performer named Sam.
The Optimists is based a novel that was written by Anthony Simmons who co-wrote screenplay and directed the film. The casting of the films lead character Sam had many actors attached to play the role before Peter Sellers eventually landed the role. The first choice to play Sam was legendary comedian Buster Keaton. Other actors considered for the role include John Mills and Danny Kaye. The score the film was written by George Martin who is most remembered for his work with The Beatles.
The plot for The Optimists centers around Sam a stubborn washed out musician and two siblings Liz and Mark. Sam show Mark and Liz that life is not always fare while they show him how to have fun again. This heartwarming story is geared more towards children and the young at heart. The film’s most powerful moment is when Mark and Liz comfort Sam after his dog dies.
Peter Sellers (Pink Panther) gives another memorable performance as Sam. For the most part Sellers reins his performance in as he doesn’t go for his usual larger than life performance. The two young actors who play Mark and Liz are merely adequate in their respective roles. Director Anthony Simmons creates some strong visual moments with the various London locations used in the film. Overall The Optimists is a flawed film that takes too long to get to the payoff.
Legend Films presents The Optimists in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The colors and flesh tones faithfully represent the films drab locations. There is some minor print damage in the form of nicks and scratches and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Even though the audio sounds clean it does sound muffled at times. Overall despite this minor drawback in the audio is more than adequate in getting the job done.
There is no extra content with this release. The menu is static with two options, play the main feature or chapter selection. Overall The Optimists one of Peter Sellers lesser known film’s gets a strong DVD debut from Legend Films.