- Published on Amazon.com
I'm a big Pink Panther and Peter Sellers fan, so about every 5 years I again watch through all 8 of the original Pink Panther films. This past month I've done that again, so last week I finished the series with the eighth film, CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER. I hope I never sit through it again!! I love the Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers, and as you probably know, after Sellers died Blake Edwards made a 2-part tribute to Sellers with the next 2 Panther movies, TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER and CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER. Even though TRAIL is not very good as a movie, I enjoy it fairly well because it's got lots of Sellers clips in it (including outtakes), and Joanna Lumley is very watchable. But CURSE has NO Sellers clips in it, Lumley is reduced to a secondary role, and the new character Inspector Sleigh (played by Ted Wass) is not fleshed out much and just about all he does is a series of sight gags that often don't work well. That long segment showing Sleigh with an inflatable woman was more embarrassing than funny.
I don't want to provide a spoiler here, so I'll be vague and say that what bothers me the most about CURSE is that Inspector Clouseau's character is undermined in the course of the film. The Clouseau character as portrayed by Peter Sellers was never shown to be evil, but rather was courageously dedicated to crime fighting. His problem was that he was inept, but was not a bad person. Why would Edwards want to undermine that premise?
At any rate, I DO recommend that people watch the original and very funny Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. However, I recommend skipping the 2-part Sellers tribute films at the end, TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER and CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER. They just don't add much value to the Pink Panther pantheon of movies.
- Published on Amazon.com
As much as I wanted to like this film I think we should have admitted to ourselves that Peter Sellers and Inspector Jacques Clouseau were both no more. TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER was ingeniously edited from Sellers' outtakes and new footage and would have been a befitting end and homage to the actor and the character. I have to admit that I take this film out once in a while and watch it. There is certain sentimentality by seeing some of the actors from the original PINK PANTHER and A SHOT IN THE DARK reprise their roles here. Herbert Lom as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus and Burt Kwouk as Kato are ever present and a comfort to see. However it was a real treat to see David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton, Robert Wagner as George Lytton his nephew and Capucine as Simone the ex-Misses Clouseau. As for the plot of this film it is rather buoyant and sketchy. Ted Wass as Clifton Sleigh a bumbling police officer from America does the best with what material he is given but he really lacks the charm and any clear definition of his character if in fact director Blake Edwards had any intentions of reviving the series with him. There are a few genuinely funny moments but they are too few. There is a surprise ending that you can interpret two different ways but there is no point revealing it here. Besides the cast I also did like the score composed by Henry Mancini. Mancini was a true professional. He never compromised the quality of his music no matter what the merits of the film appeared to be. He actually composed a very good theme for the Clifton Sleigh character. Unfortunately there was no soundtrack to this film issued and so Clifton Sleigh's theme remains jut a fond memory.