WHY ARE THE WORLD’S CHIEF ASSASSINS AFTER INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU? WHY NOT? EVERYBODY ELSE IS.
The deranged Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) escapes from a mental asylum and builds a powerful criminal organization that threatens to destroy whole cities unless someone kills Chief Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers). The last movie was such a hit that a fifth entry in the series became necessary and now director Blake Edwards pulls out all stops. This one is completely nutty and much like the director’s previous The Great Race (1965) it often resembles a fast-paced cartoon. Too many jokes are recycled from earlier films in the series… but they’re expertly staged and often very funny. Hilarious performances by Sellers and Lom; their first scene by the pond is memorable.
1976-Britain. 103 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced and directed by Blake Edwards. Screenplay: Frank Waldman, Blake Edwards. Song: “Come to Me” (Henry Mancini, Don Black). Cast: Peter Sellers (Jacques Clouseau), Herbert Lom (Charles Dreyfus), Colin Blakely (Drummond), Leonard Rossiter, Lesley-Anne Down, Burt Kwouk. Cameo: Omar Sharif.
Trivia: Maud Adams was allegedly first cast in the part that came to be played by Down. Followed by Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978).
Last word: “[Financier Lew Grade] made a wonderful deal with United Artists: UA had no confidence in [‘The Return of the Pink Panther’], so all it wanted to distribute it was five percent of the profits. After it released the movie, it just took off, and from then on, UA decided that the ‘Pink Panther’ was important. The studio allowed Grade back into the next one, but after that, the ‘Pink Panther’ became entirely a UA project. ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’ grossed $10,000,000- $ 15,000,000 more than ‘The Return of the Pink Panther’, and at that point, I wanted no more of Inspector Clouseau.” (Edwards, Playboy)
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