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Burt Kwouk, Star Of The 'Pink Panther' Movies, Dies Aged 85


Burt Kwouk

British-born actor Burt Kwouk, famous for his role as manservant Cato opposite Peter Sellers’ portrayal as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movies, has died at the age of 85.

A statement from his agent given to the BBC on Tuesday revealed the news. “Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away May 24th,” it read. “The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date.”

Soon after the news broke, tributes started arriving from the world of film and television, with the likes of Al Murray, Kathy Burke and filmmaker Duncan Jones remembering him fondly.

Continue reading: Burt Kwouk, Star Of The 'Pink Panther' Movies, Dies Aged 85

Annie Lennox, Buggles, Burt Kwouk, David Suchet, Eurythmics, Fraser, Harriet Walter, PINK PANTHER, Queen Elizabeth II, Richard Thompson and Sheila Hancock Friday 31st December 2010 at Wembley Arena

Annie Lennox, Buggles, Burt Kwouk, David Suchet, Eurythmics, Fraser, Harriet Walter, Pink Panther, Queen Elizabeth Ii, Richard Thompson and Sheila Hancock

Sally Farmiloe, Burt Kwouk and Tricia Walsh-Smith - Sally Farmiloe, Burt Kwouk and Tricia Walsh-Smith London, England - The Heritage Foundation Annual Awards and Summer Ball - Inside Saturday 20th June 2009

Sally Farmiloe, Burt Kwouk and Tricia Walsh-smith
Robin Gibb and Sally Farmiloe
Sally Farmiloe and Tricia Walsh-smith
Sally Farmiloe and Tricia Walsh-smith
Sally Farmiloe and Bill Wyman
Robin Gibb and Sally Farmiloe

Burt Kwouk and Sally Farmiloe - Burt Kwouk and Sally Farmiloe London, England - The launch of 'Utopia' restaurant Tuesday 27th January 2009

Burt Kwouk and Sally Farmiloe
Burt Kwouk and Sally Farmiloe

Goldfinger Review


Essential
The iconic James Bond movie, this third entry into the franchise is rightly heralded for offering the perfect blend of action, adventure, gunplay, fisticuffs, gadgetry (that Aston Martin!), romance, derring-do, and just about everything else. Bond's outtings take him across Europe and eventually to U.S. shores, on the trail of Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), a maniac who wants to corner the gold market... with a plan to break into Fort Knox. Even though the ultimate plot is a little on the silly side, Bond's co-stars (Oddjob, Pussy Galore) are among the series' most memorable characters, with Fröbe perhaps its greatest villain. Numerous scenes in the film -- most notably Goldfinger's aborted execution of Bond via laser beam-to-the-crotch -- have become cinematic classics. Don't miss the DVD commentary track, it's incredibly insightful: I had no idea that Gert Fröbe spoke no English and was completely dubbed over.

Continue reading: Goldfinger Review

Curse Of The Pink Panther Review


Weak
Although the prior Pink Panther film, Trail of the Pink Panther, essentially had no plot, Curse of the Pink Panther picks up where it left off.

That's a tricky place to start, and it doesn't go entirely well. Finally acknowledging the death of Peter Sellers three years earlier, Curse posits that Clouseau is still missing and that, well, somebody ought to find him. Enter what the studio obvious hoped would be a replacement for Sellers, Ted Wass, playing "the world's second best detective," Sergeant Clifton Sleigh. (Of course, Wass didn't really take, the movie flopped, and that was that. Wass is now a television director, but he's best known for his work playing the dad on TV's Blossom.)

Continue reading: Curse Of The Pink Panther Review

Trail Of The Pink Panther Review


Weak
In 1980, Peter Sellers died. In 1982, Trail of the Pink Panther, with Sellers as the headliner, was released by a studio hungry to capitalize further on the popular series.

Trail certainly isn't historically unique in its use of archival footage to create a role for a passed-on movie star, but it's inarguably one of the ballsiest attempts at it. Sellers isn't some bit player (like Lawrence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), he's the star. He's Inspector freakin' Clouseau, and he's in more than half of the running time of the film.

Continue reading: Trail Of The Pink Panther Review

The Pink Panther Strikes Again Review


Very Good
More absurdity in this fourth Sellers-as-Clouseau flick, arguably the most ridiculous in the series as his former boss (Herbert Lom) has been finally driven insane, so much so that he orders a hitman to off the bumbling inspector. And not just one hitman, 20 of them -- including Omar Sharif in a cameo -- anything to be rid of the menace of Clouseau. There's also a doomsday machine/end of the world ransom plot (later re-spoofed in the Austin Powers series), but this is of course all just the backdrop for Sellers to do his thing.

Revenge Of The Pink Panther Review


Good
Peter Sellers' fifth and final performance as Clouseau, of Pink Panther fame, finds the bumbling detective the target of a French crime lord determined to boost him image by offing the notoriously hard-to-kill inspector. It's the most cartoon-like of the series (when Clouseau falls through a hole in the floor -- cut out in a circle beneath where he stands, natch -- his hat stays suspended in air on the story above), and the least memorable by a longshot. Never mind that it doesn't make a lot of sense to start with (no explanation is made for the reappearance of former inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), who disintegrated himself at the end of Panther #4), and the remainder of the movie is mainly one setup for Sellers to ham it up after another. Still, what a ham, eh?
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