(Review originally written at 3 May 2008)

I believe Blake Edwards intentions with this movie were noble. I'm sure it was meant as a tribute to Peter Sellers, who passed away in 1980, for playing Chief Insp. Jacques Clouseau so greatly in the previous more successful Pink Panther movies. It does this by using archive footage of Sellers in his role as Clouseau and by incorporating 'interviews' with people Clouseau encountered in the previous movies. This also means the return of David Niven, Robert Loggia, Harvey Korman, Graham Stark, Capucine, Burt Kwouk, André Maranne and of course Herbert Lom. Some of them only had appeared in the earliest of the Pink Panther movies and I felt that they appeared in this movie because they felt they owed it to Peter Sellers. I mean they really didn't needed to appear in this movie unless they really wanted to. After all David Niven was already seriously ill at the time and also died shortly after shooting.

Therefor this movie can perhaps be better seen as a special you would normally see on a DVD, that is paying tribute to a past away actor. However there were obviously no DVD's yet in 1982 and a TV special would perhaps had been too expensive and simplistic as a tribute. I'm sure Blake Edwards wanted to make something special for his good old friend and at the same time also use this movie as a set up for the next sequel "Curse of the Pink Panther", which was also shot at the same time as this movie and is therefor also featuring most of the same actors.

However big mistake that Blade Edwards made was that he tried to incorporate a story into this movie. This story however seen gets abandoned again early on into the movie, as if they ran out of good usable Peter Sellers archive footage.

Watching this old cut archive footage also often makes it obvious why it got cut from the original movies. Often the sequences go on for too long and are stretched out far too much, as if Sellers and his fellow actors and director were merely trying out some stuff to see what would work and what wouldn't and how far they could go with things. The comedy in those sequences also often doesn't work out as intended, which explains why they never made the final cut. It's also confusing to see some sequences that were obviously meant original for mainly "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" and "Revenge of the Pink Panther" incorporated into this movie as part of the story but however these different sequences obviously don't really connect with each other also because most of those sequences are basically the same, though less good, ones that got eventually used in those earlier mentioned movies.

But also the originally shot comical sequences for this movie don't really work out. Peter Sellers is simply missed too much in this movie. Blake Edwards tried but his attempts simply weren't good enough. He tried to make it work by putting also new characters into the movie, such as Clouseau's father.

A failed experimental attempt by Blake Edwards.


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About Frank Veenstra

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