The Return Of The Pink Panther [DVD]
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The Pink Panther diamond has been stolen again and Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is called in to find the thief. Christopher Plummer has taken over David Niven's role as number one suspect, but this time he is innocent and decides he'll have to find the culprit himself if he wants to avoid a life behind bars. Clouseau, meanwhile, conducts the police investigation in his idosyncratic style.
Peter Sellers's third go-around as the prideful but bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau is funny enough, but this 1975 Blake Edwards revival of the Sellers-Clouseau connection is a little weak in comparison to predecessors The Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark (both made in 1964). Costar Christopher Plummer actually gets some of the most interesting screen time as a retired cat burglar whom Clouseau accuses of getting back into the business. (If it sounds like there might be a To Catch a Thief vibe mixed in here, you're right.) Herbert Lom is hilarious as Clouseau's psychologically eroding boss, and Clouseau's ritualistic collisions with valet Cato (Burt Kwouk) are great examples of Edwards's delicious comic timing. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.See all Product description
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Peter Sellers was a comic genius and this is timeless classic comedy. Of course, some of the gags are a little transparent but there is so much humour that even the lame jokes are forgiveable. Personally, I find the Cato attack sequences a little overdone, but then comes a gem like the bank robbery skit, or the telephone repairman scene, or the vacuum cleaner débâcle and the feud with the parrot (swine bird!) or the suave antics of Guy Gadois which render his co-star Catherine Schell incapable of getting through a scene without dissolving into giggling fits.
The early scene of the stealing of the Pink Panther is extremely well filmed and was, at the time, quite inventive and Bond-like in its stark night-time setting. Christopher Plummer is less wooden than usual as Lord Litton and copes convincingly with all the physical action, but the cloak-and-dagger sub-plot is clearly just an excuse for Sellers to let loose the force of nature that is Inspector Clouseau while abusing the French language. The supporting cast do a fine job, but inevitably Sellers steals every scene he's in.
I'm not sure what other people are watching but my 2006 DVD has very reasonable picture quality for an older movie (albeit in 4:3 format) and there are six (fully dubbed) language options and subtitles in fourteen languages. So, surrender to the silliness and have a good clean laugh.
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