Not many, if any, in fact very few indeed, know that

Here’s a story about a very old chestnut that was revisited in Wednesday’s Irish Times. I, and I’m sure many of my generation are convinced that the wonderful Mr. Caine did at some point in one of his many movies utter one version of the sentence herunder in dispute by Caine.

‘Not many people know that’

Michael Caine

Caine explains that Peter Sellars ( the famous Inspecteur Clouseau of Pink Panther fame ) impersonated Caine on Sellars’s answering machine,thus:

‘This is Michael Caine, Peter Sellars is out.Not many people know that’

It is the last five words that Caine denies. Clearly Sellars was a prankster of some reknown and at varying times moved from the one extreme of very funny man to very depressed man. Either way, perhaps conveniently for Caine, Sellars has moved on to that great movie screen in the sky, ( I say conveniently only in the sense that dead people can tell no tales either true or otherwise ).

The interesting note on which the I.T.’s report ends is:

‘ Not a lot of people know that Michael Caine never said ” Not a lot of people know that”

Therein lies the distinction between the words which Caine attributes to Sellars compared with what I and probably many others recall were the actual words which Caine uttered, which were to the best of my recollection, ‘ Not a lot of people know that ‘ , and not, ‘Not many people know that’. — Ppppedantic or what?!?!

I do know that Mr. Caine has had verbal spats in the past with such late luminaries as Richard Burton, Richard Harris and if I’m not mistaken, the still living Sean Connery.

Thoughts and recalls welcome from all with good memories of the film ‘Funeral in Berlin’ and/or the film character, Harry Palmer.


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