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 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 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.
on June 20, 2004
Has there ever been a more catchy theme than Mancini's "Pink Panther?" I can't think of any off hand, and in this third entry in the Clouseau series, the music and the animated panther are back in fine form.
Mainly a vehicle for the superb Peter Sellers, this sequel is tired in plot, and struggles for some of its laughs, but one cannot deny the superlative hijinks of Sellers as the impossibly inept Inspector Clouseau. He has so many brilliant moments, it's hard to think of them all, but Sellers is in top form. Christopher Plummer and Catherine Schell do okay, but Herbert Lom and Burt Kwouk as Dreyfuss and Kato are outstanding in their supporting roles. Lom's slow decline into mental illness is hilarious in its cartoonish way, and Kato's fights with Sellers are priceless.
It's an entertaining if inconsequential movie, but I had lots of fun watching it!!
on March 1, 2004
Peter Sellers was one of the most gifted comic actors of the 1960s and 1970s; Inspector Clouseau was his most beloved role. Blake Edwards, the film's director and creator, was a master of both subtle humor and slapstick. For these reasons, The Return of the Pink Panther is a true classic for many of us. It's a movie that never fails to leave me in a great mood. However, as other reviewers have noted, there are some serious issues with the DVD. I purchased it (and am glad I did) because I didn't have a VHS copy of the film. To be honest, I don't know what advantage this particular DVD can offer versus a VHS, since there are no real extras here, and no choice between widescreen and full screen (and no anamorphic widescreen!). I sincerely hope that this film is reissued in the future, complete with outtakes and remastered sound, and treated with the respect it deserves.