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Still funny after all these years
on 13 June 2012
We just watched this 37-year-old film again last night and I can't believe how funny it still is. In fact, knowing it by heart means that we start laughing BEFORE each of the best scenes!
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.