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(Review originally written at 3 May 2008)

This was the last Pink Panther movie starring Peter Sellers as the clumsy Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau, before his early death in 1980.

It's also one of the best Pink Panther movies, that still features the distinctive Blake Edwards/Peter Sellers slapstick like comedy approach. It's a genuinely funny movie with more than a couple of great moments, such as the opening sequence with the beumb, Clouseau dressed as a salty Swedish sea dog, Clouseau dressed as a mafia boss, Cato with his thick glasses in Hong Kong, oh and so many more moments. It's the last of the Pink Panther movies that entertains during its entire running time and only makes hits and no misses with its comedy.

It's perhaps a bit of an overwritten movie though, in which Clouseau is presumed to be death and he incognito starts to investigate who tried to kill him. Pink Panther movies were never really about its story but simply about the antics of Clouseau. The less- or the more silly the story, also the better the movie is. This movie has perhaps a bit too many characters in it and the storytelling is not always consistent and its last 20 minutes feel rushed. But oh well, it's comedy more than compensates for this all.

It's a movie that features all of the necessary required Pink Panther elements, such as Clouseau and Cato fighting, Dreyfus who is trying to kill Clouseau, Clouseau falling in love, Clouseau wearing outrageously stupid disguises and many returning characters from previous Pink Panther movies, such as André Maranne as Sgt. François Chevalier and of course Herbert Lom as Chief Insp. Charles Dreyfus. It's also the first Pink Panther movie to feature Professor Auguste Balls, the man who provides Clouseau with his 'brilliant' disguises. Professor Balls already appeared in the previous movie "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" but his scenes were eventually cut from the movie.

It was also nice to see that Cato's role got extended in this movie. He gets to show some crazy stuff in the second halve of the movie, proofing that Burt Kwouk himself was also one fine comedy actor, who has however understandably so never got rite of his Pink Panther label.

It's a movie that shows that director Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers were still at the top of their game with their Pink Panther movies. I'm sure that if Sellers had not died in 1980 many more successful Pink Panther movies would had been made. The movie "Romance of the Pink Panther" was already being written and developed by Peter Sellers (without any involvement of Blake Edwards by the way), which makes it all the more sad and a waste that Peter Sellers past away so early at the age of 54. "Romance of the Pink Panther" never got made and instead Blake Edwards continued the Pink Panther series with different actors in the main lead and use of archive footage of old cut Sellers footage from previous Pink Panther movies.

The last great Pink Panther movie out of the long running series of Pink Panther movies, which recently got a rebooting again with Steve Martin's rendition of Clouseau in the 2006 film, of which a sequel is already currently in development.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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