A Movie A Day: REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1978)
As a tribute to my memory you open this Chinese Nookie Factory?
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day.
[For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.]
Today’s Panther flick follows one of my favorites of the series so far (THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN) and isn’t as great, but I found it enjoyable.
First of all, they kept the theme of “everyone’s trying to kill Clouseau” going from yesterday’s AMAD, but this time tried to set it in a kind of Godfather-spoof world, which was far less entertaining that the international assassins plot of the last.
In fact, the first 6 minutes of the movie is a gangster flick, with a young Robert Loggia being pimp as hell, no less, as we find Loggia going to deliver a warning to Robert Webber (who was in our very first AMAD, HARPER) that the Godfather doesn’t have faith that Webber has any power anymore.
In a bid to prove that he can run drugs with the best of ‘em, Webber holds a conference with his guys and the suggestion is made to kill Clouseau, now heavily respected and honored by France’s president.
What I dug about this sequence was seeing how the legend of Clouseau had spread. There are a couple gangsters that say they heard he has thrwarted 16 previous assassination attempts and that he’s almost super-human. Others say they hear he’s a bumbling fool, but who can believe that with his track record of success?
The difference here is that one of the assassination attempts works… kind of. Clouseau had a mix-up on the way to an ambush and ended up being robbed by an infamous transvestite thief who takes his car and clothes, leaving him standing on the side of the road in high-heels and dress.
Of course, this poor bastard is brutally shot down and everybody believes Clouseau is dead.
That’s the charm of this movie, even if it’s not completely successful. We see what the world would be like if Clouseau was killed.
The biggest beneficiary is our favorite Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) who is cured of his insanity the second he hears the news. Even though it completely betrays any sort of continuity, I loved that they didn’t bother trying to explain the ending of the last one where Dreyfus was essentially disappeared out of existence. He’s back in the asylum and is a new man now that Clouseau (he thinks) is gone.
In fact, he’s brought in to investigate Clouseau’s murder, completely reinstated in a publicity move by the French powers that be, a sort of public wrap-up of their feud.
He admits to his psychiatrist that he feels only joy and elation, no guilt, over Clouseau’s “death” and is warned that point of view only invites guilt to sneak up on him, essentially that he’ll be haunted by Clouseau, which, obviously, opens the door for some awesome gags down the line.
Lom is still the man. Dreyfus is my favorite character in these films, hands down. My absolute favorite scene in this movie is when Lom is forced to give a eulogy at Clouseau’s “funeral” and he has to read all these amazing testimonials to the man he hates so much. When he sputters through it, almost gagging at the words, everybody thinks he’s being overcome with emotion. God, what an awesome funny moment…
The film is very smart, playing with the conventions of the franchise, but a little like RETURN there just seemed to be a lack of fire in the storytelling and Sellers’ performance. Both were better than adequate, but you know what I’m talking about, that tangible feeling when everything is just working and everybody’s pumped.
Another benefit to this one is more Cato. When you see what he’s done to Clouseau’s apartment in the maybe 2 days he’s disappeared after supposedly dying you’ll lose your shit. I did, at least. And then he ends up actually being Clouseau’s sidekick as they travel to the events in the final act, in Hong Kong, where racial stereotypes are thrown out fast and furious.
Dyan Cannon plays the love interest in the movie, Webber’s ex-secretary and mistress who joins up with Clouseau to bring her old boss/lover down. I never really got her sex appeal, but from a performance stand-point, she does a good job with a rather uninteresting character.
Final Thoughts: A lesser entry to the series, but Herbert Lom Herbert Lom Herbert Lom. I wouldn’t say the series has lost its way, but you can clearly tell the comedy isn’t coming as naturally as it was in yesterday’s STRIKES AGAIN and the first two brilliant entries. The last bit with Clouseau and the pigeon on his head is pretty damn great, though. Same goes for his Swedish Seaman with an inflatable parrot. There just needed to be better villains than random Italian gangsters and more Lom!
The schedule for the next 7 days is:
Monday, September 15th: THE TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (1982)
Tuesday, September 16th: THE REAL GLORY (1939)
Wednesday, September 17th: THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH (1926)
Thursday, September 18th: THE COWBOY AND THE LADY (1938)
Friday, September 19th: DAKOTA (1945)
Saturday, September 20th: RED RIVER (1948)
Sunday, September 21st: INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE/TERMINAL STATION (1954)
Tomorrow’s the last of our Blake Edwards/Peter Sellers Clouseau movies, even though today’s was the last one Sellers was alive to film. Tomorrow’s movie apparently places unused takes and footage from previous Panther movies to hang the plot around, but I’m interested in it if only to see David Niven’s return to the franchise. I have a feeling it’ll be a trainwreck, but hopefully an interesting one.
June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood
September 10th: A Shot In The Dark
September 11th: The Pink Panther
September 12th: The Return of the Pink Panther
September 13th: The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Sept. 15, 2008, 4:24 a.m. CST
Am I the only one who thinks that this is funny?
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:28 a.m. CST
but its ok...not great...but a hell of alot funnier than martins crappy movie
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:49 a.m. CST
likes Herbert Lom. I may be wrong but there's that niggling feeling... Anyway, I think I need to see this film again. I seem to remember its pacing was very very off despite some great comical moments. I'm dreading tomorrow's review. Quint, embrace yourself for more than just a trainwreck...
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:50 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
posthumous efforts made with Sellers outtakes and tribute cameos always had a few comedic gems and laff-out-loud moments. Bad Sellers still beats the best of, oh, let's say Mike Myers.
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:58 a.m. CST
by Charlie & Tex
...as the third part of a three-Clouseau-picture deal with Sellers and Edwards. Sellers reluctantly played Jacques again and in return, he was able to make other movies that interested him, most notably Being There.
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:58 a.m. CST
The poor fella, was ill at the time and was even dubbed (I seem to recall).
Sept. 15, 2008, 5:18 a.m. CST
... for little girls. I'm a salty, Swedish seadog, you know. *pump*pump*pump*pump* Some really great lines and costumes in this one.
Sept. 15, 2008, 5:58 a.m. CST
Genius! Fuck it! Let's just say Quint, Dreyfus as played by Lom was the greatest, funniest, craziest, lunatic boss in movie history. End of discussion.
Sept. 15, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST
by The Handsome 12th Doctor
This one has my favourite Dreyfus moment at the end. When he's chasing Clouseau and firing a gun at him, and Clouseau thinks it's because he doesn't recognise him in his gangster costume. I love it when Clouseau shouts back "It's me!", and Dreyfus with absolute manic glee replies "I know!".<br>Herbert Lom is the man.
Sept. 15, 2008, 6:15 a.m. CST
by Mr Nicholas
Those disguises were great. "Aaa am an old salty seedeeeeerg." BTW, brace yourself, Quint, cos the next one is just awful.
Sept. 15, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST
And the last gag falls flat.
Sept. 15, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST
The best Blake Edwards/Peter Sellers colaboration ever
Sept. 15, 2008, 8:06 a.m. CST
Quint, as Ricarleite says, add The Party to your list, dude
Sept. 15, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST
The inspiration for your namesake has passed. Check it out: <p> HONOLULU — Frank Mundus, the legendary shark fisherman said to have inspired the Captain Quint character in the movie "Jaws," has died. He was 82. </p><p> Mundus died Wednesday at The Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu after a heart attack, his wife said. </p><p> It was his second heart attack in four days. He suffered the earlier one Sept. 6 at Kona International Airport after returning from a business trip to New York. </p><p> Mundus had a history of heart disease, his wife, Jeanette Mundus, 46, said from their home in Naalehu on the southern tip of the Big Island. He suffered his first heart attack in 1998 and later had quadruple bypass surgery. </p><p> Known as the "Monster Man" for the size of the sharks he caught, the gregarious Mundus had an outsized personality nearly as big as his famed boat, the Cricket II. </p><p> He forged his reputation as a fearless fisherman in Montauk beginning in 1951, hunting down the world's biggest sharks. </p><p> "I had a lot of close calls," he once said. "Probably too many close calls." </p> Mundus, who was born in Long Branch, N.J. in 1925, called "Jaws" the "funniest and the stupidest" movie he had ever seen and said he some things in common with Quint such as similar fishing techniques.
Sept. 15, 2008, 8:24 a.m. CST
Return gets better as it goes along, so stick with it Quint! Certainly not the best of the bunch, but a good one.
Sept. 15, 2008, 8:26 a.m. CST
Great Peter Sellers hippie comedy flick up there with The Party
Sept. 15, 2008, 8:49 a.m. CST
by Shut the Fuck up Donny
Since we're leaving the realm of Sellers, I doubt you'll get a chance to add this to the list, Quint. But if you can find a way to get this one in there, by all means: Do it!
Sept. 15, 2008, 9:46 a.m. CST
Sept. 15, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST
Lets look at him and laugh.
Sept. 15, 2008, 10:36 a.m. CST
Despite your obivious Lom like obsession with Lucas, I still love these reviews.
Sept. 15, 2008, 10:43 a.m. CST
And Quint's actually pulled it off, coming up with A Movie a Day. This walkback through classic cinema is awesome. I'd love to see Harry do something like this . . . although it couldn't be movies he hasn't seen. And he's probably too lazy to do it. But still, Quint is da man for this series. Best thing on Aint It Cool. Ever.<br><br> Haters are boring.
Sept. 15, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST
by Yotz Von Frelnik
I was wondering if you'll ever do "Curse of the Pink Panther" with Ted Wass as the detective hired to find Clouseau and "Son of the Pink Panther" with Roberto Benigni as Clouseau's son. Just curious to see your reactions to THOSE abortions of quality Edwards humor. Sorry, I know they'll hurt.
Sept. 15, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST
nothing more. So lets just ignore his 30 year old insecurities and discuss the movie:<p> This one seemed to be the weakest of the series in my opinion, but for some reason, was the one that was ALWAYS running as the CBS Sunday Night Movie when I was growing up. Never any of the others - always this one. Where the previous movies seemed to be series detective drama where slaptick comedy sort of sprung up on you out of nowhere, this one is just a series of slapstick set-ups, and ones that you can see coming from miles away. In earlier films (the 2nd one?) he spins a giant globe and then casually leans on it, falling on his lunchbox. You never see that coming - thats what makes it an absolute riot. In this one, you get set up gags like his old fisherman disguise with the inflatable (yet uninflatable) parrot. The whole scene, you're just waiting for it to pop or sure enough - go FWEEEEeeeeeeeee onto orbit. And there it goes - ah yes, the predictable punchline, unfunny as ever.<p> I guess my problem with this movie is that it seems to fit better into the Airplane series of films instead of the Pink Panther series of films and feels like it borrows from several unfilms 3 stooges screenplays that were punched up by Oliver and Hardy.<p> oh and the series only gets worse from here, folks. The Pink Panther movies should have stopped yesterday.
Sept. 15, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST
..into Jett's greasy cunt-mouth. Thanks!
Sept. 15, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST
I'm really digging on AMAD, especially the magical transition from Bava to Edwards/Sellers. Makes me wanna go revisit the whole PP series. Keep 'em coming, no matter what the nay-sayers have to say about it.
Sept. 15, 2008, 12:38 p.m. CST
The whole point of this series is to proclaim loudly from the rooftops that 'new' does not equal cool. You'll see many more great things by looking back rather than only looking forward.
Sept. 15, 2008, 1:18 p.m. CST
The site is "Aint It Cool" not "Aint It New". PS Jet has one T. That is all.
Sept. 15, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST
One of the funniest lines in any movie, ever.
Sept. 15, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST
SPOILERS ahead At the end of Strikes Again, doesn't Dreyfuss die? He disapears while playing the organ (his blinking eye is the last thing to go), and on Revenge, he is back again and is not the main villain anymore. Why?
Sept. 15, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST
That is what I said, you idiot!
Sept. 15, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST
Are you being subtly humori=ous when you say "embrace yourself" - The actual expression is "brace yourself" <p><p>Perhaps you knew that and were making a joke, but I could not tell.
Sept. 15, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST
I feel the need to also voice my approval of the party. We would litteraly be rolling on the floor with laughter. It does end up going on too long though... The very end is a bit of a mess.
Sept. 15, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST
Rich Little dubbed Niven in the Trail. You want to watch Life & Death of Peter Sellers with Geoffrey Rush as Peter Sellers doing Clouseau disguised as the old salty seadog!That's genius.
Sept. 15, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST
...I know you're too busy with the meth habit to learn basic english skills. Is it this particular column, or the act of reading that frustrates you so much? Go find some other hobby to occupy your time in between stealing your mom's social security checks.
Sept. 15, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST
...that Jett is one of those people who is REALLY REALLY EXCITED ABOUT SARAH PALIN!
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST
by alice 13
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST
and Peter Sellers is funnier dead than Mike Myers alive.
Sept. 15, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST
That bothered me, but I don't think there is any explanation. I saw both movies. Quint said the moviemakers did not care about continuity regarding this (or he said something similar). I would agree. It's like they wrote themselves into a corner in the previous film but really, really wanted to bring the character back.
Sept. 15, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST
Lom got to murder Sellers in "The Ladykillers".
Sept. 15, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST
That is all.
Sept. 15, 2008, 5:39 p.m. CST
with a K. It's a Green Hornet reference.
Sept. 15, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST
sorry, but it is. in A Shot in the Dark (the first film featuring his character) it's spelled "Kato". in every subsequent outing it is spelled as "Cato".
Sept. 16, 2008, 12:54 a.m. CST
Quint, you are very close on the development of the series, what you forgot to mention after your review of Return,,,,, Clouseau continuously becomes more "bungling" and less accident prone from film to flim. This may be why Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers were always fighting over the character. Quint you felt that "Strikes Back" was one of the best in the series..... wanna know why????? because the Clouseau character was at the peak of development and balanced between bungling and accident prone. Revenge has it's high points but Clouseau was a little "over the top".
Sept. 16, 2008, 1:15 a.m. CST
Amazing obsevation was that Clouseau could loose the French accent and pick up a NY / NJ accent in his gangster disgiuse. One thing Quint that you forgot to mention is the addition of new character (can't remember the charaters name but he owned the disguise shop) was a fun addition to the Clouseau story line. Head Geek was right about your age,!!!!,,,, I think I was 7 or 8 when I went to the theater to see "Return of the Pink Panther" and 12 when I saw Revenge..... BTW Quint ,,, I feel for you after you watch "Trail of the Pink Panther"..... Go BAAAACK..... Go BAAAAACK....... See if you get yourself a legal or illegal copy of "The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu" and really watch Peter Sellers go out on a low...... I have a copy.. or two. Quint if you really want more of 70's cinema to check out,,,,,, check out all of the live action Disney flicks of the 70's, Apple Dumpling Gang,,, North Avenue Irregulars and epecially Escape From Witch Mountain. but why bother with those,,,, you've graduated to Caligula....... LOL
Sept. 16, 2008, 2:34 a.m. CST
and i shall glide through the underworld like a shadow *cough*
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