The Return of the Pink Panther
Release Year: 1975
Director: Blake Edwards
Writers: Frank Waldman (screenplay), Blake Edwards (screenplay)
Starring: Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Catherine Schell, Herbert Lom, Peter Arne, Peter Jeffrey, Grégoire Aslan, David Lodge, Graham Stark, Burt Kwouk
Rating: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Actor – Comedy or Musical, Best Score.
Sunday Classic #274, week 38 2019
The incompetent inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is put on the case when the famous Pink Panther diamond is stolen.
This crime comedy marked the return of the titular Pink Panther diamond and the return of Sellers (Being There, 1979) as Clouseau and Edwards (The Party, 1969) as writer/director. The film’s plot also harkens back to The Pink Panther (1963), in that it yet again revolves around the the theft of the Pink Panther and Clouseau’s never ending search for the famed jewel thief known as Phantom. That is not to say that the plot is a rehash of the original – there is indeed many new things going on. The biggest change (apart from an even more clumsy Clouseau) is a younger and just a savy sir Charles in the form of Christopher Plummer, who fills the shows left by David Niven quite well. Part of the action takes place in a luxury hotel in Gstaad in Switzerland where Clouseau is on a wild goose chase, and Clouseau’s boss, Chief inspector Dreyfus, has finally had enough of him, with hilarious results naturally. Much of the plot revolves around setting Sellers up to do his thing. It is great physical comedy and the running joke of Clouseau’s mispronounciations never seems to get old. But the running is a bit on the long side. Recommended.
Sir Charles Litton’s butler refers to Clouseau as “inspector” while he is disguised as a telephone repairman.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was offered the role of Sir Charles Litton after David Niven proved unavailable to reprise his role. Instead it went to Christopher Plummer.
For this movie Peter Sellers went for an exagerrated French accent instead of the more straight forward accent from the first film. Clouseau is also portrayed as considerably more inept than previously.
Picture Copyright: 20th Century Fox