Friday, 14 August 2009

The Return of the Pink Panther

1974 - Dir: Blake Edwards
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on November 29th, 2003

The enormous success of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in the first "Pink Panther" movie in 1964 prompted its producers to rush another one ("A Shot in the Dark") out the same year but it would be over ten years before Sellers made this third film. In the meantime, Alan Arkin undertook the part in a forgettable 1968 film called, appropriately enough, "Inspector Clouseau." But Sellers' return was a triumph, so much so that the actor would complete two more "Panther" films before his untimely death. "The Return of the Pink Panther" is sillier than its predecessors, with Sellers more the buffoon than ever and starting to mangle his comic pronunciations at an ever-increasing rate. This film demonstrates how Clouseau became such a signature role for Sellers. As many friends testified, he would come alive only when playing absurd characters, even at private dinners. Clouseau was not only an absurd character, he was one who got more absurd with each disguise - an oversized Mafioso, a Quasimodo with an inflatable hump, a Toulouse Lautrec with shoes on his knees. "I'm sorry," he tells a delivery boy vainly expecting a tip, "I'm a little short."
This film was printed in Eastmancolor. Like many prints of a similar vintage the dyes had faded making the predominant colour... pink.

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