on April 10, 2004
No need to comment on the plot which is hilarious, just the DVD picture quality.
While it's in letterbox, the image is fuzzy (as in VHS quality). I suspect that instead of using 35mm film, Artisan Entertainment simply pulled this from a laserdisc and burned it down to DVD. If you see it in a bargain bin it's ok for the kids, otherwise wait for a newer version to be released.
on January 24, 2004
Artisan has released yet another low quality DVD of a classic movie. Regardless of your feelings about Seller and the "Panther" series, this one is to be avoided, based solely on a non-anomorphic picture with the quality of an EP-recorded VHS tape and sound with a continual hiss throughout.
Hopefully the original studio will see fit to give this movie a decent transfer in the future.
on March 9, 2004
Except for a trailer, there are no real extras on this dvd, thats why it loses a star. The film itself, however, is magnificent. I've noticed a few reviewers that have chosen to point out that the plot isnt as "cohesive" as it was in the original "Pink Panther" or it's legendary follow up "A Shot in the Dark." Phooey. Who cares? I didn't see this movie for the plot anyway - I was there to see Peter Sellers reestablish himself as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and that's exactly what I was given. This movie is painfully funny at times (particularly when Herbert Lom is onscreen as Clouseau's boss, the long suffering Dreyfus), and if the plot is a little weak, all is forgiven thanks to a series of sight gags that are the best of their type since Chaplin did his thing. For those who must have a plot, it goes like this: the Pink Panther diamond is again stolen from a museum in Lugash, and a white glove emblazoned with a letter P is left behind- the sign of the jewel thief the Phantom. Sir Charles Litton (Christopher Plummer, doing an admiral job of assuming the role after David Niven) - the original Phantom, and the one who stole the diamond the first time - is accused of the theft. He is innocent of the crime, though, and sets out to clear his name. While this is going on, the worlds worst detective is assigned to the case at the behest of the Lugash govt. They figure that if he caught the Phantom the first time, Clouseau can do it again. Havoc ensues.
You have to understand, it doesn't matter where he is or what the circumstances, Clouseau walks into a room and literally manages to destroy it within minutes. This leads to some very , very funny moments (my favorite being a scene involving a hapless bellboy, a sauna and some VERY slippery shoes). This could be absolutely supid, but Blake Edwards still has a great sense of comic timing, and Peter Sellers could do slapstick like nobody else before or since. If you're a fan of the "Pink Panther" films, then you'll definitely want to have this in your collection. As comedies go, its indispensible.
on September 24, 2001
The best thing about this film is that it returned Peter Sellers to the role of Inspector Jacques Clouseau under Blake Edwards' direction after Alan Arkin's single portrayal in 1968's INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU directed by Bud Yorkin. More importantly it did not only return Sellers but it also instituted the Pink Panther and Sellers as Inspector Clouseau in a legitimate film series instead of just a few sporadic sequels and it launched a huge cinematic rebirth and phenomenon. Unfortunately this film seems to lack the magic of 1964's THE PINK PANTHER and the sophistication of A SHOT IN THE DARK. Christopher Plummer replaced David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton in this film. Plummer is good but it seems a shame since Niven reprised his role later in 1982's TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER and 1983's CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER, which were made after Sellers' death (in 1980) in an attempt to revive the series without him. Catherine Schell as Claudine Litton lacked the charisma of earlier leading ladies Capucine and Elke Sommer. On the plus side, Sellers is brilliant as Clouseau as are Herbert Lom as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus and Burt Kwouk as Kato back and featured prominently in the rest of all the subsequent Pink Panther films. Much needed and returning is a score composed by Henry Mancini a very integral component of this series. THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER has some very good comic sketches and a very good opening jewel heist but the script just doesn't seem to be a very cohesive force. However, better things were yet to come. As for the DVD, the quality is just average. For me, the picture quality is just too soft. The MGM prints of the other Pink Panther films on DVD are much crisper.
on July 19, 2001
A very good movie but the DVD quality is really disappointing compared to the rest of the Pink Panther series. It is just like watching a video copy.
on April 20, 2001
Make no mistake, this is not the same sort of movie as the original "Pink Panther". David Niven, Capucine, and Claudia Cardinale are long gone, and, whereas the original had a large dose of sophistication, wit, and style to go along with some classic slapstick from Peter Sellers, this addition to the franchise is entirely a vehicle for Sellers. The change is not necessarily a negative, but the product is much different. Christopher Plummer replaces Niven and Catherine Schell takes Capucine's role. In addition, Herbert Lom (as Clouseau's boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus) and Bert Kwouk (as Cato) have joined the mayhem. The animated Pink Panther and Henry Mancini's musical theme are still here to help maintain continuity.
Again, the changes aren't necessarily a negative. It simply depends on what you're looking for. A quick look at the other reviews here will show that some even prefer this sort of "Pink Panther" movie to the original. Personally, I wouldn't go that far. This isn't quite the stylish classic that the original was. Sophistication and subtle wit are gone and the underlying plot is stretched a bit thin. It begins with another theft of the fabulous "Pink Panther" (supposedly the world's largest diamond). This time, it has been cleverly snatched from a museum in the fictional country of Lugash. Given his past success in recovering the diamond, the local authorities request the services of Clouseau to get it back once again. The retired Sir Charles is the prime suspect.
Sellers performs his brand of slapstick with brilliance. Observe the edgy relationship with the increasingly twitchy Inspector Dreyfus, Cato's efforts to keep him alert and prepared for trouble, the scene with the blind man and the monkey, and his attempt to bug Sir Charles' phone. There are more funny hotel room antics, too. If you're a Sellers fan and a large dose of him is what you crave, this flick is right up your alley, but if you're looking for something along the lines of the original "Pink Panther", you may be a little disappointed. I liked it and recommend it to anybody who likes great slapstick comedy in large doses.
on January 5, 2001
The famous and invaluable diamond known as the Pink Panther is stolen once again from the museum in Lugash, and the authorities decide immediately that to effect the return of this National Treasure they must seek the help of the one man they know will bring the needed expertise to the case: Clouseau. And so it is that "The Return Of The Pink Panther" is entrusted to none other than the inimitable Inspector (Peter Sellers) from France, much to the chagrin of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), who, knowing what unbridled mayhem Clouseau is really capable of, would like nothing more than to be rid of him once and for all. But such a request from the sovereign authorities of a friendly nation cannot be denied, and Clouseau is therefore dispatched with all haste to Lugash, with orders to bring the criminals to justice, and insure that the case is indeed-- to quote Clouseau-- "solv-ed." Some ten years had passed since director Blake Edwards and Sellers had teamed up for the brilliant film "A Shot In The Dark," before coming together once again for this third installment chronicling the misadventures of the "belov-ed" Inspector Clouseau. But the wait was certainly worth it. Cleverly written and delivered, it affords Sellers ample opportunities to do what he does best: Make you laugh. Whether affecting an alias in disguise or forthrightly confronting the usual suspects, Clouseau deftly uncovers every "ploy" attempted by the unscrupulous thieves he seeks. There are moments so hilarious that even co-star Catherine Schell (Claudine) has trouble keeping a straight face at times; but rather than being a distraction (as you'd think it would be), it somehow makes it even funnier. And it's a great example of why this movie is so good, and why it works so well. Simply put, it's fun. Edwards has a formula for success that begins with having a good story at the core, an excellent supporting cast to flesh it all out, then mixing it all together with the main ingredient which is, of course, Sellers. It's one that works, and of which directors of some of the more recent fare being proffered as "comedy" could benefit. Christopher Plummer is well cast as debonair master thief Sir Charles Litton, bringing an air of sophistication to the film that contrasts so well with the antics of Sellers. Characters returning after debuting in "A Shot In The Dark" include the terrific Lom, whose Chief Inspector Dreyfus is the perfect foil for Clouseau; Andre Maranne (Francois); and of course Burt Kwouk as Clouseau's ever-attacking manservant, Cato. The scenes between Sellers and Kwouk, in which they spar at Clouseau's house, are a riot, as is the way Sellers and Lom play off of one another throughout the film (or the series, for that matter); Lom's "reactions" alone to what Sellers is doing are classic bits of comedy. Rounding out the supporting cast are Peter Arne (Colonel Sharky), Peter Jeffrey (General Wadafi), Gregoire Aslan (Chief of Lugash Police), Victor Spinetti (Hotel Concierge) and John Bluthal (Blind Beggar). A number of elements go into making a comedy work, and "The Return Of The Pink Panther" has them all, but most especially, Peter Sellers, who without a doubt is one of the funniest actors ever to grace the silver screen. His comedy works because he always plays it straight and allows the humor to flow naturally from the situation at hand; there's never a laugh that is forced or false. Consider one of the opening scenes in which Clouseau, walking a beat, questions a blind beggar with a monkey about having the proper permits to beg, all while the bank in front of which they are standing is being robbed. There's a purity about it that makes it a joy to watch; the kind of film you can see over and over again and never get tired of. One of the great things about video and DVD is that it affords us the opportunity of cuing up this film-- as well as the other "Panther" movies-- at will. For a lot of laughs, take advantage of the technology at hand and check out Peter Sellers and discover what "classic" comedy is all about. It never gets old, and somehow just keeps getting better with age.
on April 10, 2000
Jacques Clouseau has to be one of the greatest comic inventions in cinema history. Peter Sellers' urbane, courageous and idiotic detective is truly the ultimate parody on the James Bond/super hero. Although I love them all, THE RETURN is my favorite Clouseau outing. It has been 10 years since this suave, invincible agent of the Surete has been turned loose on the criminal world (Alan Arkin's feeble attempt only demonstrated how much Clouseau IS Peter Sellers' unique creation). Heaven help them and his long-suffering boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus! Dreyfus is played with awesome aplomb by Herbert Lom. The two "colleagues"-yet-arch-foes certainly deserve to be ranked premier among very few comparable comedy teams (The 3 Stooges, for example). What elevates THE RETURN, in my estimate, is not only the great humor but the "class" of the production. Christopher Plummer is a genuinely Bond-like foil to Clouseau essaying the role of Sir Charles Phantom the notorious Pink Litton (or something like that). The fight with Cato...emerging ruthlesslessly from the refrigerator...has to be one of the greatest slap-stick sequences ever filmed. The locales are exotic. Clouseau's attempted seduction of Lady Litton... he is cleverly disguised as Gide Gaduois, international man of mystery...has to be seen to be believed (and heard: his "accent" is hilarious). Peter Sellers was one of the great comic talents of the cinema. DR. STANGELOVE allowed him to display this talent with the ironic detachment the black comedy masterpiece required. In the Clouseau series, he was able to let it rip "full metal jacket" and reveal himself as a matchless, comedic artist. Sellers played Clouseau as...literally...an oxymoron: a suave idiot; a "cool" dud(e) who is the embodiment of inanity and comic relief. "EVERYTHING I DO IS CAREFULLY PLANNED!" asserted Clouseau in the climatic showdown scene in "A Shot in the Dark." Then all heck breaks loose and Dreyfus, his boss...now revealed a THE ASSASSIN...who will vigorously abet Clouseau's death at every opportunity for three more movies...is carted-off to the booby hatch. The fact that Blake Edward's was able to get away with producing two PINK PANTHER sequels (THE TRAIL and THE CURSE...)after Sellers' death using out- takes and trailers is testimony to the fact that this series is one of the funniest epics ever put on film. Yes: we're talking about THE SAGA of JACQUES CLOUSEAU (and even a bogus effort about his SON with Herbert Lom wrecking ultimate vengeance by marrying Clouseau's old flame, Maria Gambrelli can't mar it). Peter Sellers is dead,but if you want to enjoy a comic master in action watch THE PINK PANTHER series. THE RETURN is my favorite because it's a class act to the max. (I'll bet they show reruns in Heaven, because this man knew how to do a geat thing: he had the Talent to make people laugh and he used it...)
on December 10, 1999
The Return of the ink ant, I mean, Pink Panther, is a work of comic genius. Peter Sellers as the idiot inspector, Herbert Lom as his boss and Chief of Police deliver two of the most inspired comic performances ever captured on screen. The rapport between the two of them is worth ten thousand Shagging Spies, and eight thousand twenty Lying Liars! This might sound harsh, but I'm sure Jim Carrey as well as Mike Myers would agree. They are, after all, admitted Sellers fans.
The film begins with the theft of the famous Pink Panther diamond. The famous inspector who rescued it last time it was stolen, Inspector Clousseau (Peter Sellers), is assigned the case. Completely incompetent, yet unwaveringly persistent, the inspector manages -with the help of a phone call from his boss- to solve the crime and apprehend the infamous thief. This sounds easy enough; however, things get complicated when Inspector Clousseau's own superior sets out to murder him!
on March 10, 2002
I've always liked this movie, ever since I first saw it on cable TV back around 1976. I was looking forward to seeing it again, but this DVD is not a very good edition. Rather than a proper widescreen (anamorphic) image, they've simply shrunken the image to fit into a standard 4:3 image, leaving lots of wasted scan lines at the top and bottom. This was the only way to do widescreen in VHS, but DVDs can do much better. On a 16:9 TV, an anamorphic image will take up the full width of the screen, while this sort of lame transfer will appear as a little box in the middle. Meanwhile, on a good modern 4:3 TV such as a Sony WEGA XBR, the TV will handle an anamorphic image by squeezing all of its scan lines into a 16:9 rectangle, thus achiving near-HDTV resolution. This sort of ...DVD transfer prevents either a 16:9 set or a good 4:3 set from doing their jobs properly, resulting in an inferior image. I'm very disappointed.