After almost two decades in a Paramount Pictures vault in London, “A Day at the Beach”– an unreleased drama written by Roman Polanski with Peter Sellers — has been found and restored by its virtually unknown helmer Simon Hesera.
Pic marked the beginning and end of Hesera’s feature career.
“I gave everything in that film,” Hesera told Daily Variety. “It was like a painter whose painting was stolen; that’s the effect it had on me.” After it disappeared, “I went back to making commercials, and made a good living developing scripts.”
Hesera said the pic’s rights have reverted from Paramount to his own Cinema Group Co., which will unspool the film at the American Film Market. No one at Par could be reached for comment.
“A Day at the Beach” was lost due to a serious “paperwork error” and relocated by Paramount’s Susan Wright, who conducted an “exhausting physical search” last year, Hesera said.
Pic was produced by Paramount Pictures, Polanski and his former partner Gene Gutowski.
Tale is about an alcoholic father who takes his estranged young daughter to the beach for a day. Sellers plays a homosexual who runs a shell shop on the beach with his lover, played by character actor Graham Stark.
Hesera’s current partner Phillip Sigal noted that even though Cinema Group now owns the rights, “We still have to pay Paramount a percentage, but the film is at our disposition totally.”