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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. I rate this one 10/10.
After making life intolerable for clumsy Inspector Closeau (Peter
Sellers) , former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfuss (overacting Herbert
Lom) goes nutty and is interned in asylum . One time escaped from the
mental asylum , the mentally ill Dreyfuss tries to destroy the world by
means of a ray-laser . Besides , he hires a group of hit men to kill
Jacques Closeau who's gone to England to investigate the abduction an
eminent scientific forced to build a fantastic machine and being helped
by British policemen (Colin Blakely , Leonard Rossiter).
This release is the fourth part of Closeau series and an enjoyable comedy starred by the great Peter Sellers as the inept and bungler Inspector of the French Surete . The movie gets entertaining and hilarious moments here and there . This slapstick contains funny scenes and never slowdown . Herbert Lom parodying his ¨Phantom of opera¨ personage is excellent . There appear as secondaries the usual series , such as Burt Kwouk as Cato , Grahame Stark and a gorgeous Lesley Anne Down who replaced Maud Adams . Omar Sharif , who had just played with director Blake Edwards on " The Tamarind Seed " has a brief cameo as an eastern murderer . Lively and atmospheric music by habitual Henry Mancini and magnificent opening and ending cartoon titles by Richard Williams . Colorful cinematography Harry Waxman , being mostly shot in Europe : Paris , France , Bavaria , Germany , Ireland and Shepperton Studios , Surrey , England . The film was well penned and directed , as always , by Blake Edwards . Several chuckles and gags , the result of which is one of the funniest from series along with ¨A shot in dark¨ , ¨Return of pink panther¨, and ¨Revenge of pink panther¨. The flick will appeal to pink panther series and Peter Sellers fans . This is arguably one of the best pink panther . Two thumbs up.
A Shot in the Dark is a better movie but The Pink Panther Strikes Again is
the high water mark of the Pink Panther series. Most movie series' throw
all inhibition out the window at one point or another and that is the case
here. The movie is unrestrained folly with as much style as a hammer over
the head. But it's so well done that the movie keeps it's pace of intense
idiocy throughout with a slow storm of truly funny bits. The goofiness must
never abate or the movie will be exposed and it doesn't abate. Sellers
again plays Clouseau with bumbling incompetence. His dead pan style and
seriousness in the face of his role is what makes it so great. He's clearly
the only one who thinks he's a legitimate police officer and character to
begin with. Clouseau's voice that was just slightly unintelligible in A
Shot in the Dark is a complete parody here and it's an absolute joy every
time I hear it. I can never keep a straight face any time Clouseau says the
word 'room.' Only a great comedian can take something so simple and make it
classic. Herbert Lom is as good as ever as the tormented Dreyfuss. He's
more believably crazy than a lot of other actors I've seen try it. The
scene where Clouseau accidentally abuses him at the mental health institute
is priceless. One of the few scenes in comedy where I burst out laughing
every time is when Dreyfuss steps on the rake and falls back into the water.
You never see it coming the first time and it's a riot. The scenes in the
gay bar are refreshingly funny despite the stereotypes that are a little
less than kind. Clouseau's questioning of the staff is also one of the
classic bits in comedy of completely brilliant overkill. His falling down
the stairs off of the parallel bars is another burst out laughing moment, as
well as when he accidentally whacks Mr. Stutterstut with the ball and chain
stuck to his hand. The scenes with Cato are also better than they were in A
Shot in the Dark. This movie does not have the gorgeous style or comedic
genius of A Shot in the Dark but plays it's stupid humor better. After
this, it was probably unnecessary to have any more Pink Panther movies as
this was the over the top plot to end all plots. I absolutely love watching
Inspector Clouseau...Commissioner Dreyfuss...Gerald Ford. What don't you
have in this movie?
Funny film to watch again and again. The chemistry is perfect between Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom. There are so many jokes and laughs throughout, I usually pick up something new after each viewing, especially Clouseau's accent. The castle scene with the dentist visit has got to be one of the funniest moments recorded on film. You'd swear there really was nitrous oxide in the room. I always get a chuckle from the apartment scene in the start. I'd never knew how funny the use of slow motion could be. Timing of the jokes are crazier than a set of "parallels". Add Mancini's music which seems to fit each scene quite nicely, thank you.
Probably my favorite of the Pink Panther movies (next to A Shot in the Dark), you have to love Peter Seller's portrayal of the "hit and miss" wonder named Clouseau. Plus, Lesley Anne Down looks great as Olga and makes me appreciate a nice fur coat. Definitely a keeper.
Of the Pink Panther series of films, this is the best with the possible exception of the original. Clouseau and Cato outdo themselves in the hide and seek game they play in each film. In this one however they have learnt from the mishaps in previous films and set the tone for a truly hilarious turning of events. The visit to the Oktoberfest takes a real comic view of the Cold War but Clouseau's inspection of the Fassbender house is even better. Throughout the film the storyline twists and turns and together with the background tunes combine terrifically -- see Sellers assault on Mondschein castle! The lunatic Dreyfuss is at his craziest from start to finish, how did he get his eye to twitch so much? The Inspector's love interest played by the very sexy Lesley Ann Down adds a further dimension to the plot with James Bond overtones. A film you can watch again and again.
This fifth "Pink Panther" entry is a practically plotless collection of gags. Such comedies are always inevitably uneven, and this one is no exception. It contains at least one scene than never fails to bring tears of laughter to my eyes (the interrogation at the house of the kidnapped scientist, with Sellers at his best) and a wonderful animated title sequence, and it remains generally amusing throughout. But it does have its share of lulls, too, and some overly predictable sight gags that aren't likely to impress even the kids. Sometimes this is a very funny film, but it misses the mark now and then, as well.
I think "Strikes Again" is the most accomplished of the series.
Clouseau's attempts to enter the castle are just impossible to describe: so hilarious I still laugh whenever I recall the scenes. Not to mention the short conversations with the hotel owner (including the now classic "That is not my dog"), and many many others. This movie's probably the best Peter Seller performance, I think. This guy was such a genius: his accent, his acting and his expressions are all unique and still alive.
I can't understand why anyone would want to make new Pink Panther movies now that Peter Sellers is gone.
This was the fourth movie in the Pink Panther franchise and, despite
the title, the titular diamond that was the namesake of the original
and The Return of
has nothing to do with this entry. By now, Pink
Panther had come to mean not gimmick for the sake of a comedy plot, but
the world of the wonderfully inept Inspector Clouseau, and a vibrant
brand of latter-day screen slapstick.
One of the most consistently brilliant elements of the earlier pictures was Clouseau's relationship with the increasingly demented Dreyfuss. For The Pink Panther Strikes Again, this relationship becomes the central premise of the whole movie. As such the scope is there for more-or-less continuous comedy with very little else to complicate it. Apart from, that is, a James Bond spoof slant, with Dreyfuss taking on the role of the eccentric super villain. This in turn allows for some large-scale actiony gags, reminiscent of the wilder escapades of silent comics Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Peter Sellers's stunt double Joe Dunne received a lot of work here.
This also allows for a greater part to be taken in comic staging by director Blake Edwards. A Shot in the Dark was nearly all Sellers, and that was very good in its way, but for Strikes Again we really get to see Edwards's outsize and somewhat surreal comic creations at their most unbridled, from the perfectly-timed three way fight between Clouseau, Cato and Dreyfuss to Clouseau's bungled attempts to get into Dreyfuss's castle. But Edwards still has a way with the smaller comedy confection, as usual his trademark tactic being to make almost everything invisible to the audience, showing just enough to make a gag work. For example, there is a very funny set-up in a public toilet where we only see the feet at the bottom of the cubicles.
There's a lot of verbal comedy too in the Blake Edwards/Frank Waldman screenplay, which is of a middling quality and gets a little tiresome at times. But as we see for example in the scene where Sellers interrogates the professor's house staff, Sellers and Edwards have brilliant timing in punctuating a talky scene with physical gags. Occasionally the humour gets just a little too silly, and there are a lot of clichés such as the "that is not my dog" line, which I'm sure predates this movie, and the stepping-on-a-rake gag, which predates cinema.
But perhaps this latter is a deliberate tribute to the staples of slapstick. It becomes apparent, as Clouseau inadvertently survives numerous assassination attempts, that he succeeds purely by virtue of the fact that he is a slapstick hero and a wake of chaos must follow him wherever he goes. It is a kind of meta-comedy. And herein lies one of the slightly disappointing things about this movie. Often Clouseau is saved, not directly by his incompetence, but by sheer luck. When a giant pretzel stops him getting skewered by a killer disguised as a buxom wench, it is funny, but it is not really a Clouseau gag. It seems, with Sellers's lessening interest in the franchise (not to mention the heart condition which kept the aforementioned Mr Dunne employed), that perhaps the character around whom the whole thing revolved was beginning to be watered down.
My Take: Sellers is still strong in this sillier, but just as
This is one of my favorite entries in the "Pink Panther" series of films. Peter Sellers is always in his most hilarious as clumsy Inspector Clouseau. Herbert Lom, Lesley Ann-Down and Burt Kwouk give superb supporting roles. And Blake Edwards makes everything hilarious as it should. This one ranks one of the best. It features one of Clouseau's clumsiest, the wonderfully hilarious karate sequence between Cato and Clouseau and a wonderfully exhibited comedy plot, about Clouseau's former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfuss cracking up and finds a sinister way to find Clouseau and uses a large laser to threaten the world to give away Clouseau. Though not A SHOT IN THE DARK, this is one of the funnier outings in the entertaining, if totally uneven PINK PANTHER series.
Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILERS In 1976, Peter Sellers reprised the role of Inspector Clouseau
for the fourth time. Often compared to "Revenge of the Pink Panther"
from two years later, this adventure had no reference to the priceless
Pink Panther diamond, but that didn't stop it from being simple, daft
humour. Sadly though, with a grating period in England, the story
didn't have the same consistency as the previous film.
In "The Pink Panther Strikes Again", Clouseau's former boss Charles Dreyfus (an extreme, but funny portrayal by Herbert Lom) is on the run from a mental institution. Kidnapping a scientist, Dreyfus has only one request. In exchange for not destroying the world, he wants our bumbling hero dead. Unfortunately for Dreyfus, even with the world's finest assassins on his case, this doesn't appear possible.
Evil Mastermind for the first time, Herbert Lom continues to be battered and bruised but with a new sense of purpose. His extreme nature and how he reacts to events breathes an air of freshness into this film. In truth, against any other comedy genius, he'd probably have stolen this film. How unfortunate then that once more as Clouseau, Peter Sellers is absolutely stunning. Sellers' comic timing is so spot on at times that he makes us laugh without seeming to even try. Despite this though, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" fails to live up to the genius of the previous film. The main reason for this is that unlike "Return of the Pink Panther", Blake Edwards' script is an inferior piece relying, perhaps too much, on relocating the bumbling Inspector around the world, and putting him into sketch scenes in different countries. If Edwards had thought up a slightly more consistent plot, then perhaps we could be looking at the finest of the series. Instead though, all we have is a middle of the range encounter.
"The Pink Panther Strikes Again" is a funny film. With Sellers and Lom both on form, you'll be laughing for the most part. Sadly with scenes in London not pulling their weight and with an inconsistency to the plot, their ability is misplaced and the film suffers as a result. It's still a Pink Panther film and as such it's still great fun to watch, but compared with alternative films in the series, it's far from the best.
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