7.6/10
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178 user 62 critic

The Party (1968)

PG | | Comedy | 4 April 1968 (USA)
A clerical mistake results in a bumbling Indian film star being invited to an exclusive Hollywood party instead of being fired.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Blake Edwards (screenplay), Tom Waldman (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Hrundi V. Bakshi
Claudine Longet ... Michele Monet
Natalia Borisova Natalia Borisova ... Ballerina
Jean Carson ... Nanny
Marge Champion ... Rosalind Dunphy
Al Checco Al Checco ... Bernard Stein
Corinne Cole Corinne Cole ... Janice Kane
Dick Crockett Dick Crockett ... Wells
Frances Davis Frances Davis ... Maid
Danielle De Metz ... Stella D'Angelo (as Danielle de Metz)
Herbert Ellis Herbert Ellis ... Director (as Herb Ellis)
Paul Ferrara Paul Ferrara ... Ronnie Smith
Steve Franken ... Levinson
Kathe Green ... Molly Clutterbuck
Allen Jung ... Cook
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Storyline

By a twist of fate, the clumsy, but well-meaning aspiring actor, Hrundi V. Bakshi, is invited to Fred Clutterbuck's big party, after utterly ruining the set of his latest feature film. However, unbeknownst to the host, Bakshi is present at the gathering, merrily mingling with the hand-picked guests in this magnificent hi-tech villa, where the drinks are flowing, and everybody is in high spirits. But, much to everyone's surprise, when Bakshi accidentally has his first-ever sip of alcohol, only God knows how this well-thought party will end. What delightful disasters await? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film That Made The Whole World Go "Birdie Num Num!" See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Russian | French | Chinese

Release Date:

4 April 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fiesta inolvidable See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Mirisch Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production designer Fernando Carrere reused the fireplace he had designed for The Pink Panther (1963) in this film. See more »

Goofs

There is no reason for the bidet to leak. Whilst the toilet breaks down after Bakshi has used it, he has not touched the bidet before it begins to gush water violently. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Director: All right, cut it! Cut it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Party (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

It Had Better Be Tonight (Meglio Stasera)
(1964) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Mancini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Original Comedy About Nothing
10 April 2005 | by slokesSee all my reviews

I once had the pleasure of telling the legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully that he was in a Peter Sellers comedy, this one of course. He is heard calling a game on the radio while Sellers' character, Hrundi V. Bakshi, is looking for a restroom. Scully was quite pleased about this, glowing in fact, and I was able to walk away knowing I scored a point with the Hall of Famer.

"The Party" is the kind of pleasure that keeps delivering, in ways big and small. Reading the many reviews here about how sidesplitting the film is for them makes me a little jealous, because the comedy isn't all that for me. It's funny, yes, but it works for me more as a good-hearted film about people without much of a chance in life finding strength and purpose in each other.

The key line in the movie for me is when Bakshi, standing up for a pretty girl, is confronted by a nasty producer played effectively by Gavin MacLeod. "Who do you think you are?" the producer demands.

"In India, we don't think who we are, we KNOW who we are!" Bakshi counters. It's Bakshi's one great stand-up moment in a film which shows him taking pratfall after pratfall, and evidences his secret strength against all the derision around him: He has integrity.

So does the girl, as played by Claudine Longet, later famous for giving the Rolling Stones the inspiration for one of their classic bootleg songs after she shot and killed her skier lover. Longet is not really a looker in my book, only mildly pretty, but she has great charm and provides Bakshi with a measure of validation in the way she appreciates him and champions him after everything else in her life crashes down. "Nothing To Lose," she sings, a great Henry Mancini song that offers ironic counterpoint since she has much to lose in one sense, trying to get her big break, but not in the sense that she is willing to sacrifice her integrity for it.

"The Party" isn't an easy film to describe. Bakshi is accidentally invited to a party, where he finds himself very much a fish out of water. Polite to a fault, he tries to make himself inconspicuous and fails, making a mess of the living room and rocketing a Cornish game hen onto a woman's wig. People walk all over him, but he takes it in stride. When a cowboy star named Wyoming Bill Kelso gives him a painful handshake, Bakshi grins and says he would have been disappointed if Kelso hadn't crushed his hand.

The film just ambles along, in its charming way, bathing us in its West Coast '60s ambiance and making us feel like we are watching a very silly festivity go down in real time. The feeling of the film is note-perfect, even when the jokes are labored. We get a sense of a multitude of characters, including a dancing model, a dipso waiter, a frustrated host, and many others, many of whom are only glimpsed in the background and give the film a real sense of being lived rather than acted.

Sellers shines as Bakshi, because he manages to give us a character we can really care about even as we laugh at his misadventures. It would be easy to simply have made Bakshi the butt of every situation, but sometimes he's the bystander while others create the craziness, and other times he manages with a sly smile to turn a potentially hazardous situation to his advantage.

"The Party" may be a great example of the virtue of keeping a good attitude about life, and in realizing how much more important it is to be true to yourself than conform to others' expectations. "Wisdom is the province of the aged, but the heart of a child is pure," he says, before admitting he doesn't really know what it means. But watching "The Party," I think we get a pretty good idea what he meant.


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