The Pink Panther diamond is stolen once again from Lugash and the authorities call in Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) from France. His plane disappears en-route. This time, famous French television reporter Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley) sets out to solve the mystery and starts to interview everybody connected to Clouseau. Each interviewee: Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), Sir Charles Litton (David Niven) and Lady Simone Litton (Capucine) (an ex-wife of Clouseau), George Lytton (Robert Wagner), Hercule Lajoy (Graham Stark), and Cato Fong (Burt Kwouk) tell of their run-ins with Clouseau. She is also kidnapped by mobster Bruno Langlois (Robert Loggia), who doesn't want Clouseau found, but she continues and finds Clouseau, Sr. (Richard Mulligan), Clouseau's father. Is Clouseau alive or is he dead? Each interview has not-yet-seen or famous clips from the previous movies (since Peter Sellers died) as Marie continues to get a honest view or impression of the great French ...Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
(At around one hour and twenty-six minutes) Clouseau, Sr. (Richard Mulligan) tells reporter Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley), "My son, Jacques Clouseau, was born September 8th, 1920." This is the same birthday that Peter Sellers had, except he was born five years ahead of Clouseau's. See more »
When the Godfather tells the girl to take a swim, she jumps in with sunglasses on and comes back up without them. Later in the scene, she asks him if she can get out and she has the sunglasses on again. See more »
In compared to movies that have a beginning, middle and an end, "Trail of the Pink Panther" barely qualifies as a real movie. On a bad day it's a crass, sluggish, desperate and entirely unnecessary entry in what was a pretty well-worn series featuring the irreplaceable Peter Sellers.
Co-writer/Director Blake Edwards, whose 80's pendulum film-making talent swings from the very great ("Victor/Victoria", "S.O.B.", "That's Life") to the deplorably awful ("Blind Date", "A Fine Mess", "Skin Deep", "Sunset" among other casualties) goes back to the well to fashion the barest of linking "plot" segments to bring to life trims and deleted scenes from the previous entries in the long-running series.
These links are rather sloppily matched/handled and pretty obviously shot: a lumpy double for Peter Sellers in long walking shots, David Niven's awful looped vocal by Rich Little (!) of all people, the trials of matching the costumes of films more than six years previous (watch those lapels, guys!).
That said, what other movie has your very last chance to see Peter Sellers as Chief Inspector Clouseau at work? It is, in a weird way, a cheapjack "tribute" to the genius of Sellers and a ghostly valentine to the entire series - the very same set-ups, the former castmembers - and is best seen as such.
Feel free to turn the film off after the first 45 minutes, and then resist the urge to watch either "Curse of the Pink Panther" (1983) or "Son of the Pink Panther" (1993). But, if you're a die-hard "Panther" fan, that warning probably comes too late.
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