Frank Waldman

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Inspector Clouseau Review


Weak
Few have seen this film, the third movie in the Pink Panther series (four years after A Shot in the Dark), a film which reunited, well, none of the original film's cast and crew. Starring a tragically miscast Alan Arkin and directed by a heavy-handed Bud Yorkin, Inspector Clouseau gives us the title character in another silly mystery (primarily involving bank robbers wearing Clouseau masks), but it's filtered as if through a carnival ride instead of Sellers' impeccible sense of timing. The film suffers without him and is instantly forgettable.

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.

The Party Review


Good
Peter Sellers makes one of his biggest character stretches here as Indian nincompoop Hrundi V. Bakshi, a film extra who accidentally demolishes the set, then finds himself mistakenly invited to a big Hollywood dinner party. His bumbling begins the moment he steps foot in the door. Literally: He loses his shoe in a fountain, doesn't have a seat at the table, and dunks a piece of artwork in the toilet. Little bizarrely hilarious moments don't quite make the movie on their own, but for Sellers and/or Blake Edwards fans, it's totally worth a look.

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?

The Return Of The Pink Panther Review


Very Good
Sellers starred as Clouseau for the third time in this Pink Panther flick, a funny (though somewhat less so than its predecessors) entry into the Blake Edwards empire. The Pink Panther diamond is stolen again, and the bumbling Sellers is thrown back in action to hunt doiwn the thief. Inspired largely by To Catch a Thief, it's all very familiar from the first two films -- right down to the fights with Cato (he springs from a freezer where he's been hiding), but Edwards proves he still has an excellent handle on the genre.
Frank Waldman

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