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(Review originally written at 27 December 2010)

This is the first movie out of one of the most successful and best appreciated comedy movie series. And you should really see this as the first movie, that tries to set up things and tries out different new comedy approaches.

I can definitely understand some people ending up being disappointed by this movie, when they are more accustomed to the quick, slapstick, comedy style of all of the later Peter Sellers/Blake Edwards movies within the series. This movie differs quite a lot in style and story from any of the later Pink Panther movies. But different is really the right word for it. Really, even though its less amusing and fast paced than any of the later movies out of the series, you can't call this movie exactly an inferior one. Watching this movie is like seeing Blake Edwards develop his comedy-directing style and Peter Sellers his classic Clouseau character, in a movie that is being quite good and amusing in its own right.

In this movie Jacques Clouseau is more or less being still a secondary character and at times he really is being out of the movie for a long time but he is already stealing the show with the sequences that he is in. All of his moments are pure comedy gold and it's like watching a 'modern' slapstick. The rest of the movie of the movie is actually being less comedy-like and more amusing but with a more serious approach and undertone to it all. I'm glad that the series later on decided to continue more on the Clouseau-path of comedy, so to speak.

In its own, this movie is being quite a good one, that features a pretty good story, more or less being inspired perhaps by some of the successful spy/crime movies of its time, such as the early James Bond movies. The story is getting uplifted as well, by its more than impressive cast, that besides Peter Sellers consisted out of David Niven and Robert Wagner, among others.

With a better pacing at times and some more Clouseau in it, this would had been a near perfect comedy classic but luckily this is something they did get right in most of the later Pink Panther movies.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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