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Hoffman is an odd cross between There's a Girl in My Soup and The Collector and is clearly one of the few film projects Peter Sellers took seriously enough to work hard on. Secretary Miss Smith (Sinéad Cusack) is blackmailed by meek, middle-aged Mr. Hoffman (Sellers) into spending a week of domesticity with him in his flat, while she tells her fiancé (Jeremy "Boba Fett" Bulloch) that she's with her grandmother in Scarborough. At first, the tone is creepy as Cusack dreads the terrors of sharing a bed with Sellers, but it becomes more poignant as both characters learn to see each other as people. The script gives Sellers a lot of funny business, acid lines, and whimsical turns, but he plays Hoffman as a repressed soul half-ashamed of his attempts to be funny, telling genuinely good jokes as if he expects no one will laugh. Cusack, more interesting than expected, keeps up with her costar and almost makes the strangely upbeat last reel believable.

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VT11193 Hoffman DVD (1970/Sinead Cusack) $19.98 $17.99