Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) (part 1 of 4)
SUMMARY: Blatant exploitation of a great actor’s legacy. Much like Game of Death or Plan 9 from Outer Space, this film’s main star, Peter Sellers, died before shooting even began.
Deleted scenes, outtakes, and new footage are cobbled together to supposedly show Sellers as Inspector Clouseau once again on the trail of the Pink Panther diamond. The Sellers footage runs out about halfway through, leaving only a pathetically unfunny story about a reporter interviewing Clouseau’s associates, with flashbacks from other Pink Panther movies spliced in a-plenty.
[NOTE: This recap was revised on February 8, 2006. New screen captures were taken from the recent DVD release, and more captions were added, along with a few new comments from me! —2006 Albert]
Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers were seemingly a match made in heaven. The slapstick comic skills of Sellers were a perfect fit with Edwards’ flair for directing physical comedy, and in 1964 they joined up for the first time to make The Pink Panther, a comedy about the theft of a diamond with a flaw shaped like a panther.
It featured Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a bumbling fool whose talent for finding creative ways to cause slapstick mayhem made the film a huge hit. This was fortunate for the sequel A Shot in the Dark, which was filmed back-to-back with Panther and released just a few months later. Despite the success of both films, Edwards showed remarkable restraint by not wearing down the formula and instead, he went on to other projects.