on July 4, 2004
This is my all time favorite Pink Panther film. I think that I like it the best of the series as is dwells so totally on Herbert Lom's madness, which is, of course, entirely caused by Clouseau. The opening scene of the film sets the pace, with the brilliant slapstick 'Dreyfus in the lake' segment (I am particularly fond of the role of the rake in that scene.)
The characterizations of Dreyfus and Clouseau are totally wonderful in this film. Watching Dreyfus descend into total madness is one of the all time greatest comic performances. Sellers as Clouseau is wonderful playing off of Lom, in such great segments as the 'hallucinatory dentist' and the 'hunchback and the bomber' scenes. This film is much less subtle than my other favorite from the series "A Shot in the Dark", but what it loses in subtlety, it gains in situational humor unrivalled in any other comedy ("Does your dog bite?"..."No."..."I thought you said your dog did not bite."..."That is not my dog.") Only Sellers could make these scenes work, and work they do, brilliantly so.
There are so many great scenes and lines that I couldn't possibly list them. Some of the best lines ever written for a comedy are in this film. To go with the brilliance of the script, the excellent direction from Blake Edwards, the always entertaining animated credits, the beautiful sets, the acting from everyone, led, of course, by Sellers and Lom, is letter perfect.
The DVD is an excellent transfer, and very pleasant to watch. The only real options are language and subtitle related, though there is an original trailer. I would have loved to have seen some outtakes as extras. Reportedly the cast frequently broke up laughing during the filming of this movie, and there is no wonder, given how funny the material is.
I first saw this in the theater when I was a kid. I loved it so much then that I went back several more times, and never tired of it. Now, almost thirty years later, I still never tire of this film. If you haven't seen "The Pink Panther Strikes Again", by all means do so at once. If you have, it's time to get reacquainted with a brilliant old friend!
on February 10, 2004
This is the Pink Panther I remembered as a kid. Peter Sellers as the bumbling inspector Jacques Clouseau. Herbert Lom as Dreyfus, the former chief inspector that's been committed to a mental institute due to Clouseau's ineptitude. While there's no stolen diamond (as the previous "Pink Panther" movies usually had), this movie centers around the two main characters. A simple plot... Dreyfus wants to stop at nothing to rid the world of Clouseau. Memorable scenes: the opening scene at the mental institute with Dreyfus falling into the lake time and time again; Clouseau trying on his new hunchback disguise followed by an explosion; Clouseau disguised as a dentist working on Dreyfus' tooth; many failed attempts to get into Dreyfus' castle by Clouseau; and the apartment entry fight scene between Clouseau and his trusted Asian servant Cato. Memorable lines: "What kind of Bomb was it? ("The exploding kind"); "Does your dog bite? ("No") -the dog bites Clouseau- "I thought you said your dog doesn't bite?" ("That's not my dog"). Director Blake Edwards did a wonderful job guiding Sellers and then letting him go off on his own when needed while the camera was rolling. I can see where this movie was inspired by the James Bond series. As well as this movie proved to be a big inspiration to anything Austin Powers ever did. This movie has very few extras... a trailer, an 8-page booklet with some insight from the director, and your choice of full/wide screens. Picture is clear and sound is (only) average. Good movie overall and still fun to watch after all these years.
on April 21, 2004
Unlike the other Panther films, which still mix in some of director Blake Edwards' skillful subtle comedy ala "Breakfast at Tiffany's," this Panther outing is strictly high caliber slapstick. The plot, which is far-fetched, exists simply as a framework to get star Peter Sellers out of one comic situation and into another. This is not a bad thing - some of the funniest comedies are the ones that have the skimpiest storytelling. I've seen all the Panther films many times, and this is the one that I always laugh the loudest at. It's hard not to enjoy Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and how he unintentionally outwits his former superior Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). The DVD release contains both the widescreen and fullscreen versions of the film (though no real extras)and is a step up from the old VHS release. It's always nice to have this choice on a single disc. I honestly don't know what extras could be included as most of the outtakes were unfortunately recycled in the inferior "Trail of the Pink Panther." I recommend this DVD to anyone who enjoys a slapstick approach to comedy.
on August 5, 2003
In this fourth Pink Panther film, Inspector Clouseau is running for his life because his ex-boss Dreyfuss, driven mad by Clouseau's incompetence, is threatening to destroy earth with a death ray unless Clouseau is terminated.
When I first saw this film, I thought it was pretty good. Clouseau pulls off some hilarious, over-the-top gags and Dreyfuss is fun to watch in his unhealthy mental state. However, I look on this movie now and see a few things wrong. One is that the movie is bizzare at times. I mean, Dreyfuss in a castle wielding some out-of-this-world death machine? And a hunchback costume? A bit too outlandish, don't you think? Also, the humor is not as charming in this movie as it is in previous Pink Panther films. Everything Clouseau does seems to be crash-and-bang. It can be funny, but the delightful, little zip he displayed before is missing here (see A Shot in the Dark and you'll see what I mean).
As for the DVD, it isn't that good. I can see them not including a making-of-documentary since the films star (Peter Sellers) is dead, but they could have included more than just a theatrical trailer and an 8-page booklet.
Overall, The Pink Panther Strikes Again could have been a better film. It's big, busy and noisy, but not as charming as its predecessors. Still, if you like a good slapstick comedy, check it out.
on July 30, 2003
I've always been a fan of the Pink Panther films and I got this one on DVD recently. The film was as funny as ever but sadly this DVD is not as good as it could be. I choose to watch the widescreen version in stead of the pan'n scan version (I don't know what idiot had the idea of pan'n scan anyway) but it surprised me that the widescreen image is cropped and measures more like 2.20:1 but not 2.35:1 (?), but inexplicably the main titles are in 2.35:1. I kept noticing those irritating editing splices that distract from the picture, and the picture is not even anamorphic and looks rather soft. It could have been much worse, but the folks at MGM have just chosen a wrong print of the film and given it a wrong treatment. Now the sound isn't all that bad, but I was shocked to see, at that editing mess in the chapter "Painful interrogation" (the funniest chapter), the sound goes out of synchronization (!?). It could just be my copy of the DVD but still it's awful. I had to look at those lips moving with the sound coming a bit afterwards. The extras are also pretty weak. The pan'n scan version looks much better than the widescreen image, which is a shame. Great fun, a four-star movie with a 2 star DVD.
on August 7, 2002
If you REALLY want to get an understanding of where Mike Myers got the inspiration for the shagadelic superspy, don't bother with the old James Bond or "Our Man Flint" mobies from the '60's...those movies owe more to the era in which they were made than the development of the main character.
No, the ORIGINAL Austin Powers was none other than Inspector (later "CHIFF" Inspector, but that's another movie) Jacques Clouseau, every bit as much a credit to French "leau" enforcement as is Austin Powers to British secret service. Even though the "Pink Panther" franchise was originally created to be more of a spoof on the old pulp/film noir genres best typlified with "The Maltese Falcon", et al, this particular entry in the series provides a secret agent parody that even Mike Myers would have to admit exceeds his own (extremely brilliant) undertakings on the same subject.
I won't touch on the plot, but the recommendation is simple; if you enjoyed any of the Austin Powers movies, you will love this one, no doubt about it. Jump on it with both feet!
on May 31, 2001
"The Pink Panther Strikes Again", though misnamed (the "Pink Panther" plays no part whatever in this installment), is a very funny movie. ...
The first two "Panther" films had clever, relatively sophisticated plots. In the first one, Peter Sellers was part of an ensemble of stars and was not the sole focus of the story. The second was a transition, with Clouseau emerging as the focus, but with an emphasis on the story still evident. Subsequent efforts were simply vehicles for Sellers' portrayal of Inspector Clouseau. Everything else was secondary. If an Inspector Clouseau film is what you want, then the later films are for you. Personally while I enjoy the later films very much, I like the first two best...
Of the later movies, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" is, in my opinion, the best. The plot is completely over the top, but that doesn't really matter. Sellers and Herbert Lom play off each other marvelously, and there are lots of very funny scenes. The opening, with former Chief Inspector Dreyfus ready to be released from a mental hospital, and, later, Clouseau trying single-handedly to break into an old castle, are highlights. This film's predecessor, "The Return..." had classic bits, too, of course, but the plot was allowed to become a bit confused. Here, there is no confusion, just Sellers doing his thing. On that basis, it's funny regardless of the plot.
For me, this is a strong four stars. It ranks somewhere between "A Shot In The Dark" and "The Return Of The Pink Panther". Not a bad place to be. They're all very good, and there are lots of laughs to be had from each. If you are looking strictly for a Sellers vehicle, though, this might be the best one of the bunch for you. Either way, give it a try. You won't regret owning this. It's a comedy classic in its own right.
on January 3, 2001
The inimitable Peter Sellers strikes again as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, in this fourth installment of the classic "Pink Panther" series, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again," directed by Blake Edwards. Given the fact that the assessment of comedy is intrinsically subjective, this film is arguably laugh for laugh and sight gag for sight gag the funniest of the five (followed closely by the second of the series, the hilarious farce, "A Shot In The Dark). In this one, former Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) is about to be released from the mental hospital-- in which he has resided since being driven crazy by Clouseau-- when on the very afternoon of his hearing he is visited by none other than Clouseau himself, who has come to speak on behalf of his former boss. Suffice to say that by the time Clouseau is through "helping," he is driven from the premises by the relapsed, raving madman, Dreyfus. And it's only the beginning of the inept French Inspector's antics that, before it is over, will include a trip to the Ocktoberfest, encounters with a dozen hit-men from around the world, a beautiful Russian spy named Olga (Lesley-Anne Down), a surprise Egyptian spy (who will remain nameless) and a one-man assault on a castle. As Laurel and Hardy proved so many times before, for every action there is a reaction; a theorem of which proof is unequivocally provided here by the relationship between Sellers and Lom. This was the film in which Edwards and his stars not only further devised, but honed to perfection, their foolproof formula for laughs: After the "first wave" of hilarity provided by Sellers, it is followed up-- in just enough instances to be totally effective-- by Lom's reaction to 1.) Sellers directly (as in the first, classic scene at the mental hospital), or 2.) Lom's reaction to Seller's antics as they are related to him by a third party. It's a one-two punch that never fails and which, in effect, derives twice the fun from a single gag. And it's brilliant. But at the end of the day, it must be noted that there is one element above all else that accounts for the success of this film, and that, of course, is the Man himself, Peter Sellers. Sellers must be regarded as-- if not "the," then at least one of the-- funniest actors ever to grace the silver screen. There was no end to the ways he could make you laugh; from the subtlest expression-- an eye averted or perhaps the slight raising of an eyebrow-- to the broadest slapstick, it was all within his personal domain, and he was the Master. Physically, practically all he had to do to get a laugh was show up; consider the scene in which he arrives at the hospital to visit Dreyfus: As he saunters across the lawn of the vast grounds surrounding the buildings, a croquet mallet and ball lying to one side catches his eye; there is just the slightest hesitation in his step, the subtlest change of expression in his eyes and the merest inclination of the head. And there, in that briefest of moments upon the screen, you know-- beyond the shadow of a doubt-- what is about to transpire. And you're right; a moment later Clouseau has the mallet in his hand and his foot on the ball, and even as it's happening-- just as you knew it would in that split second before it did-- he has you on the floor laughing. That was the gift-- and the genius-- of Peter Sellers. Was every film he made a classic? A great film? Of course not; but you would be hard put to find a single performance of his, even in a bad film (Like 1970's "There's A Girl In My Soup"), that did not embody that unique spark that defined him. It was certainly alive in his portrayal of Clouseau (possibly the definitive Seller's character), and in retrospect, what a shame it seems that there were only five "Panther" movies ever made. But so it is, and shall ever be. The supporting cast includes Burt Kwouk (as the ever faithful and attacking manservant, Cato), Andre Maranne (Francois), Colin Blakely (Alec Drummond), Leonard Rossiter (Inspector Quinlan), Richard Vernon (Dr. Fassbender), Briony McRoberts (Margo) and Michael Robbins (Jarvis). A funny movie that showcases one of Cinema's truly unique and funny actors, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" is a side-splitting, fun movie you can watch over and over and never grow tired of. The best of the series, it stands as a glowing tribute to the comedic genius of Peter Sellers.
on June 29, 2000
This was the first Panther film I was old enough to remember seeing on the big screen, and it is without a doubt the funniest and most entertaining. I have to say I have never seen the appeal of the first one.For me, the first Panther film merits about 3 stars, and Return and Shot in the Dark were about the same. This one kicks, and is just right. We also get to see a hot-looking Lesley Anne Down. This film does not waste any time and is full of what Clouseau does best. There are plenty of gag-destructive sequences to make you laugh out loud(best scene is where he is trying to penetrate the Chateau), and Dreyfuss(Herbert Lom) is in rare form here. The opening credits are some of the best as well that is a parody of different films like Sound of Music, Dracula, King Kong, and Singin in the Rain! Excellent in every way and definitely the best in the series.Don't waste your time with REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER and those other ridiculous sequels(CURSE OF, ON THE TRAIL OF)
on January 28, 2001
This is by far the best of the Pink Panther series of movies. Sellers is a comedic genius and the funniest Clousseau scenes are in this film. I saw this on the big screen while in grade school and vividly remember my friend and I bowled over in tears laughing so hard. This is the movie with such memorable scenes as: "Does your dog bite?...No....(dog bites Clousseau)...I thought you said your doig does not bite?....That is not my dog" and the famous "Blemish? But that's a priceless Steinway!...Not anymore" as well as Clousseau's visit to the Octoberfest where two assailants both miss Clousseau and kill each other in the bathroom. Every supporting actor (the guys who played President Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger were superb) was believable and set up the scenes so well for the bumbling Clousseau. If you only get one of the Sellers' Pink Panther movies, this is THE ONE to have because I believe you will tearfully laugh every time you watch it.