Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Movie: Trail of the Pink Panther

Trail of the Pink Panther

I can think of few times when I've laughed harder than when watching Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies - especially the first and second installments (The Pink Panther, A Shot in the Dark) of the series. There were a total of six Pink Panther movies starring Sellers, although to call this one - the sixth of the series - a movie is a bit of a stretch.

I didn't go into this blindly, mind you. I know that it was a cobbled together mess that used outtakes featuring Sellers (who had been dead almost two years) and other footage to vainly attempt to construct a coherent story. I figured that it couldn't be that bad and oh, boy, was I ever wrong.

Early on the story, what there is of it, finds Clouseau (Sellers) once again trying to track down the purloined Pink Panther (a diamond). When the Sellers footage apparently runs low, the film switches gears. Clouseau disappears and a reporter goes around to people who knew him and constructs a profile, which allows the filmmakers to throw in some more warmed over Sellers footage.

All of which is about as dreadful as it sounds. Which is not to say that there aren't a few funny scenes, because there are several. Especially worthy of note are the opening scene which features Sellers and Harvey Korman and a surprisingly funny Sellers-free scene featuring Clouseau's father (Richard Mulligan), a doddering housekeeper and a sheep dog.

Which are scenes that are perfectly suited for YouTube or the bonus tracks of a DVD set, which is where I'd suggest that you watch them, if indeed they're even available. As for this sad excuse for a movie, well, either forsake it altogether or watch it with one hand on the fast forward button.

(To skip right to Siskel and Ebert's thoughts on the movie go to 2:03)

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