Movie News

Rest In Peace Blake Edwards

Published at: Dec. 16, 2010, 5:37 p.m. CST

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some uncool news. In a year already sadly rich with the passings of some of the industry’s most talented performers and craftsmen, we now have word of the death of Blake Edwards.

 

 

With his wife of 42 years, Julie Andrews, at his side Edwards died yesterday from complications due to pneumonia at the age of 88.

I spent most of my teen years ignorant of Edwards’ work even if I knew his name. It actually wasn’t until my run of A Movie A Days that I finally dove into his filmography, blazing through every one of The Pink Panther films and another Peter Sellers collaboration called The Party.

Upon viewing these movies I was hit with a kind of awe at his ability to be kinda flashy as a filmmaker yet totally childish in his humor. Think of the opening of A Shot In The Dark, for instance. It’s a long, intricate and hilarious piece of storytelling as we see the near miss of a husband greeting a cheating wife all from a series of shadows through windows and silhouettes on walkways. Then we see a murder in like fashion, now having been witness to all the suspects and circumstance surrounding it. It’s a text book example of visual comedy and visual storytelling.

Edwards was a more diverse director than he’ll likely get credit for. He did a fine thriller in 1962 called EXPERIMENT IN TERROR starring the great Glenn Ford and Lee Remick that crafts suspenseful tension just as easily as he wields slapstick in his Sellers comedies.

 

 

He also adapted Truman Capote’s BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S and took the lovely Audrey Hepburn from being a star to an icon. Edwards also worked with his wife quite a lot in films like Darling Lili, The Tamarind Seed, S.O.B. (which is the biggie of his that I haven’t seen yet) and Victor/Victoria. In every example of that collaboration I’ve seen Andrews seemed to be totally at ease, a natural rhythm more than evident in every frame.

If you haven’t already explored Edwards’ filmography, I highly suggest devoting your weekend to it. From the insane (and politically incorrect) spectacle of THE PARTY to the more or less consistent hilarity of the Pink Panther films (my personal favorite being THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN just because Herbert Lom gets to be front and center) to male fantasy spoof 10 and the epic live-action cartoon comedy THE GREAT RACE, which pre-dates Wacky Races by a good 3 years, there’s so much to explore.

My thoughts are with Mr. Edwards’ friends, family and fans. His unique voice will be missed.

 

 

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com
Follow Me On Twitter

 

 

 

Readers Talkback

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  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    first!!

    by robo6.net

    peace out. you'll be missed...

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Rest in Peace

    by Ben Harrison

    Some absolute classics here. I'll be watching Days of Wine and Roses this weekend.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:46 p.m. CST

    :(

    by Bvc79

    Rest in peace, Mr. Edwards. Thank you for all the great movies.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Should be peace and not piece.

    by sweeneydave

    Don't mean to be picky but it changes the meaning altogether...

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by animatronicmojo

    Awww... thanks for all the memories Blake. "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" was also my favorite, so many great laughs. "The Party" was definitely a blast, and anything with Sellers worth a look. Those two were never afraid to crack jokes that had been done to death, yet, could still strike comic gold, (i.e. "Does your dog bite?") I also remember liking Micky & Maude a lot at the time- the finale is classic Blake Edwards bedlam. I was just watching "Experiment in Terror" the other day- what a great looking film- late-noir at its most stylish. SOB was his 8 1/2, approaching an Altman level of cynicism towards Hollywood and, I think, worth another look in postmortem.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST

    On TCM this month and next...

    by bbunny1940

    Turner Classic Movies will alter their schedule on 12/27 in honor of Blake Edwards, showing Breakfast at Tiffany's, Days of Wine and Roses, The Pink Panther, Victor/Victoria and Operation Petticoat. Then in January, Peter Sellers will be TCM's Star of the Month, whereby we'll show many more of the Pink Panther films, including A Shot in the Dark.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:53 p.m. CST

    TV Pioneer

    by lynchmob17

    Blake Edwards also created the brilliant "Peter Gunn", "Mr. Lucky", and produced and wrote the tv version of the radio series "Richard Diamond, Private Investigator" with a young David Jannsen.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Krinkle

    I think Mr Edwards would appreciate a nice rest in a nice piece. He did love the women.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Did you mean "peace" or "pieces"?

    by strosmer

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    he also created peter gunn

    by john

    and he got to bang mary poppins

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    "...Strikes Back" is one of the funniest movies of all time

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Interesting that two of the greatest films of any genre have titles that end with "...Strikes Back." I will say, however, that "The Party" is one of the most annoying, overstimulated "comedies" I've ever seen. Horrendous.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Sweeney

    by Quint

    That's a horrible typo. I'm very embarrassed. Thanks for the catch, though.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Sadly missed

    by Denty420

    His films figured in a large part of my childhood. Certainly the Pink Panther movies. Peter once told a story about the elevator scene in the Revenge. It was decided that they would put the fart noise in post production, so on-set, Blake would say the word 'Now.' They blew loads of takes because Sellers couldn't stop corpsing with laughter every time Blake said it. Blake eventually made a fart noise on a later take and ruined yet another. Rest in peace, Mr Edwards. Say hi to Peter for us.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 6:20 p.m. CST

    by bmkz

    Jean Rollin too :(

  • I can't think of a nerdier way to be introduced to Blake Edwards than wanting to watch 1989's SKIN DEEP specifically to see Tasha Yar's film career after she left Star Trek TNG (said career, I recall consisting of mainly Skin Deep and Pet Semetary). Of course, nerds like me were amply rewarded by the hilarious "lightsaber duel" in the film. But the first scene I thought of upon hearing the news of the director's passing was not the glow-in-the-dark condom fight but the "electro-stimulation" scene. Classic physical slapstick by the late John Ritter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YPLxTIruhs

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 6:56 p.m. CST

    S.O.B.

    by tristeele

    S.O.B. is one of my five favorite comedies. It IS a scathing look at Hollywood in almost Altman levels as a user said above. The film has been criticized for being over long and overindulgent (guilty on both counts) - But it also is a showcase for a who's who of 70's actors in their prime or at the twilight of their careers. Julie Andrews, William Holden, Robert Loggia, Stuart Margolin, Richard Mulligan, Robert Preston, Robert Vaughn, Loretta Swit and even Rosanna Arquette in a very early role. All are perfect in their roles. I find this film to also be very touching. The main character Felix is a director having a nervous breakdown. His circle of friends try to come to his rescue. I can only hope in the twilight of my life, my closest friends are as tight a group as those presented in S.O.B.. The last half of the film is hysterical and very sad from scene to scene. If you have not seen it - give it a chance. Especially if you are a fan of Blake or any of the actors mentioned above. Have a good rest, good sir. Thank you for all the laughs. Sorry for the long post.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    I forgot to mention....

    by tristeele

    The film is also full of insanely great dialogue. Robert Preston OWNS his role. Anyway my description above is not very good - but I did my best. Hopefully someone else has actually seen the movie and maybe even agrees with me! Also of note - Skin Deep w/John Ritter in one of his very few adult themed comedy/dramas.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Edwards showed me comedy...

    by MooseMalloy

    ... could be more subtle, intricate and smarter than the MEATBALLS and CADDYSHACKS of my youth. I remember howling with laughter as a kid when first seeing the treadmill joke in THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, and I'll always love THE PARTY.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 7:18 p.m. CST

    R.I.P. Mr. Edwards

    by theonecalledshoe

    pink panther was a fave of mine.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Strikes Again is the best pink panther film

    by angry_spacboy

    ...and the parallel bars scene in it, is one of the funniest fucking things ever put on film. I advise you all to find it on youtube and watch it. R.I.P. Blake Edwards

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Loved BLAKE EDWARDS

    by HEADGEEK

    Blake Edwards' passing is another reminder of why we'll never see films like his again. Birdie Num Num is still my hero!

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Pink Panther and Breakfast aside....

    by BlaGyver

    let's not forget that Blake Edwards is also responsible for what is possibly one of the greatest nude scenes ever in 10. On a (more) serious note, he'll definitely be missed. You guys can call me a pussy all you want but Breakfast at Tiffany's is in my top 10.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Godspeed Good Sir

    by MGTHEDJ

    One of the Masters of Comedy, he was able to combine the "drawing room" style with the physical comedy of the silent screen legends his grew up watching. An example is in the original Pink Panther where we get the Princess and David Nivens' the Phantom talking, and then she gets drunk. But in the same film there is a completly over the top stunt with Niven walking out of a snowbank. And both scenes are funny! This is in addition to allthe stuff Seller's is doing throughout the film. The "two gorillas robbing the safe" is a perfect example of using wide-screen for a sight-gag. In closing a quote from "Operation Petticoat": "We sunk a truck!" Thanks for all the laughs.------m

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:30 p.m. CST

    blagyver: Amen on "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

    by MGTHEDJ

    When you guys go to your company Christmas/Holiday party and see the hot woman in "the little black dress" say thank you to Mr. Edwards.-----m

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    This one hurts

    by Manatee

    Now the three men who taught me about comedy (George Carlin, Blake Edwards and Larry Gelbart) are all gone. Very sad.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Horrible filmmaker

    by proevad

    Was just slamming on him in a Kevin Smith thread a month ago. Hope God wasn't listening to me.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:05 p.m. CST

    I watch Jim Carrey give him the honorary on tv that night

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    It was hysterical. Jim's comment, well you can see for yourself.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Watched

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Upgrades except an edit button unfortunately.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST

    "10" and "S.O.B"

    by Flexfill

    are awesome, in addition to Breakfast at Tiffany's and his best collaborations with Sellers. Blake Edwards was one of the greats and his legacy is quite well secured.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    S.O.B.

    by Darth_Kaos

    I know there was a couple of mentions of this underrated film already, but I must say that it's one of my slapstick favs (not counting any Pink Panther movies). I was just a teenager when I saw it, but I understood it. Made me want to be a filmmaker. All his comedies where great, cause it seemed Mr. Edwards and the gang were having so much fun. And you got to give him props for talking his wife (Mary Poppins) into showing her boobs, to make a point about how desperate Hollywood can be. The guy had class. If I made an adult comedy, it would be in the vain of Blake Edwards. R.I.P.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Wild Rovers -GREAT WESTERN

    by brucewaynewayne

    Let's not forget a Great western he directed in 1971 "Wild Rovers" with William Holden. This film has yet to be on DVD, take heed Hollywood, you're missing the chance of a lot of sales.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    tristeele...

    by eustisclay

    You did fine. Loved Blake Edwards, read a book on his films, A Splurch in the Kisser last summer. Probably one of the most underrated Directors out there. He had this wonderful combination of sophistication and raunch that I haven't seen anywhere else. I remember when the Pink Panther Strikes Again came out, god, the audience went nuts. And I still quote that damn film. And the whole, "Does your dog bite?" scene may just be the funniest thing I've ever seen in film. Okay, some may read that and say bullshit. But we all find different things funny and for me, this scene just kills me like no other. I'm chuckling just writing this; the way Sellars can come off so innocently sincere, the tiny dog grabbing his hand like it was a rottweiller, and that little old man's classic comeback, "that is not my dog". I'm laughing now. Blake Edwards was an original, And I thank him for many hours of joy(and suspense, loved Experiment in Terror, would love to see The Carey Treatment but I guess it's not on dvd) has given us. I'm especially saddened because there is no one quite like Edwards out there and I know that over the years we will be "treated" by several remakes of his films. We've seen the Pink Panther remake(or if we're lucky we didn't) and I know there has been talk of a "10" remake. I'm sure there will be others, but none can match the original. And Quint, seriously, watch S.O.B. right now, you'll be haooy you did.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST

    brucewaynewayne...

    by eustisclay

    ...You're right. I wanted to see this film for years. Finally caught it on TCM a couple of years ago. Wonderful film. Maybe some company will put together a set of Edwards films that haven't seen release yet. Or at least one of the companys like Warner Archive(that's where I picked up Soldier in the Rain, an odd film, but a personal favorite, scripted by...Blake Edwards).

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Blind Date had some brilliant comedic moments in it

    by The Krypton Kid

    Blake Edwards was a director who knew how to make a comedy as fun as it was funny. Truly one of the greats.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:05 p.m. CST

    THE PARTY and

    by cybermage

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:06 p.m. CST

    ... GREAT RACE

    by cybermage

    Perfect movies! Simply perfect. Blake Edwards was a genius. RIP, sir.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:13 p.m. CST

    RIP

    by frank cotton

    PINK PANTHER - some of the best, most re-watchable films ever made. 'proevad' - one of the worst, most unbearable asswipes ever conceived. seriously, dude - does anyone in the real world actually like you, or are they just pretending to, and using you for all they can get?

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:53 a.m. CST

    You can look at my screen name

    by pushthebuttonmax

    and tell I'm a fan. RIP.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 1:22 a.m. CST

    SADNESS

    by RottNElsewhere

    GREAT RACE - my favorite film as a kid, very dry and somewhat silly with that great cast ("Henry if you can't be more gracious -shut up"). Had even more of an appreciation for it after I moved to HW with those Cinematheque/Egyptian event screenings (I accidently almost kicked Art Ross in the head crossing my legs; didn't realize it was him sitting in front of me). I'd still lick cake and pie off Natalie Wood, still a fun, hot scene. PANTHER, VICTOR-VICTORIA, 10/etc. So much wonderful contribution - rest peacefully, Mr. Edwards.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 1:57 a.m. CST

    10

    by THX1968

    Godspeed, Blake Edwards. I still pee my pants with laughter when I watch The Pink Panther Strikes Again, my favorite. The laughing gas scene with Sellers and Lom kills me every single time I watch it (as well as the opening). 10 introduced me to Bo Derek (thank you), and the hilarious Dudley Moore. S.O.B. was Altman's "The Player" well before that film was even an idea, and Victor/Victoria was very clever, charming and hilarious. You were, and will always be, a master craftsman of film; I dare say that you were the modern master of slapstick! And you clearly loved the movies as much as your fans.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 9:36 a.m. CST

    The Party

    by niccageshairpiece

    Birdie Num Nums!! All Hail Blake, RIP.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    The Party

    by slone13

    The fact that half the movie's audio is nothing but ambient party noise as Harundi V. Bakshi bumbles his way from one encounter to the next is unreal. It's a testament to Edwards amazing direction and highlights what an outstanding actor Sellers was, as well . Those two were a brilliant comedic team.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Blake was a "10".

    by Benovite1

    As far as filmmaking, he made damn-near perfect movies. I was watching "10" on Monday, it's still a great movie. Blake Edwards added something important to the film landscape and he along with what he brought with him will be sorely missed. Rest in peace. -_-

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    The Apatows and the Farrellys of today owe a giant

    by skimn

    tip of the hat to Mr. Edwards. His comedies of the 70's and 80's brought a raunchy, adult, but goddamn funny sensibility that helped pave the way for the modern comedies. I've got to see SOB this weekend in his honor...

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 11:25 a.m. CST

    The Pink Panther is one of those fucked-up characters

    by FeralAngel

    ...that start out cool and wind up lame. The startlingly original and playful little pink panther in the first film's opening credits has deteriorated into an anorexic cipher selling housing insulation for god's sake. As if that's not bad enough, the new Panther cartoon with him as a teenager is perhaps the final death blow. The Panther has died, along with his creator. Rest in peace.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Hrundi V. Bakshi

    by dogu4

    While adding my condolences and sympathies, I would add that, despite its lack of appreciation by many here, I think the movie "the Party" was a brilliant lampoon aimed at the culture of movie making, and while some might call it politically incorrect, I find that in many ways it revealled more about those who are concerned with looking PC than actually being PC.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    out of respect

    by SonnyBonoWigDo

    Julie Andrews' nipples will be at half mast. thanks for the films, Mr. Edwards.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 4:07 a.m. CST

    parallel bars scene

    by Wheel99

    Agreed!

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:52 a.m. CST

    RIP SIR

    by jack black

    thank you for all your awesome movies.For creating together with the genius Peter Sellers the legendary Pink Panther franchise,for making The Party one of the most hilarious with a social commentary movies ever and for introducing to us Bo Derek one of the most beautiful women that have ever walked this planet.You have my gratitude mr Edwards,RIP.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    A Master has passed

    by oisin5199

    Those Pink Panther films were a huge part of my childhood. Together with Julie Andrews, what a couple!

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Edwards

    by Carl

    I wonder if The Comedian from Watchmen, whose real name is Edward Blake was named after him.

  • Jan. 5, 2011, 5:08 a.m. CST

    Clouseau and Kato

    by quintana007

    had the most awesome fights in movie history. Thanks Mr. Edwards you rocked my childhood. RIP