Two rediscovered early Peter Sellers film clips have been described as the movie equivalent of the dead sea scrolls.
23 Apr 2014 - 2:25 PM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2014 - 10:35 AM

The first clips of two Peter Sellers films which had been thought lost until they were salvaged from a skip have been released ahead of a world premiere event.

Described as the movie equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia is Good for You are two of the earliest examples of actor's work but had been thought permanently lost for almost 60 years.

Filmed two years before Sellers' 1959 breakthrough hit I'm All Right Jack, they were unearthed by film buff Robert Farrow as he checked a skip outside Park Lane Films, the now defunct London-based company which produced them.

Even after the 1996 find, Farrow kept the films at his home as he resisted the temptation to make a quick profit and instead find the best way of showcasing them.

Critics and journalists will gather in Farrow's hometown of Southend, Essex, later on Wednesday for the first screening of the 30-minute films following their restoration.

And Dimwittie Films, the company set up to handle the rare find, has released a one-minute clip from each - the first public glimpse of the movies for decades.

Dearth of a Salesman sees Sellers play Hector Dimwittie as he attempts to become the most successful salesman in Britain.

The same character features in Insomnia Is Good for You, as his anxiety builds and he struggles to sleep ahead of a crunch meeting with his boss.

The films were co-written by Canadian screenwriter, author and essayist Mordecai Richler and Dearth of a Salesman is believed to feature Judith Wyler, daughter of the Academy Award-winning film director, William Wyler.

Members of the Sellers family along with relatives of other cast members will attend their first public showing at the opening gala of the Southend Film Festival on May 1.

Dimitris Verionis from The Peter Sellers Appreciation Society, said: "We are very happy that these films will be shown again in public.

"They were shot right before he reached international stardom.

"I cannot wait to see them in all their digitally restored glory."