Movies In My Collection #191: Inspector Clouseau

Inspector Clouseau is a 1968 United Artists film. It was directed by Bud Yorkin, written by Frank Waldman and Tom Waldman and stars Alan Arkin as Inspector Clouseau. It was filmed by Mirisch Films at the MGM-British Studios, Borehamwood and in Europe.

Screenwriter Frank Waldman would later co-write The Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Revenge of the Pink Panther, and Trail of the Pink Panther. Tom Waldman would co-write Trail with Frank.

The film was not directed by Blake Edwards, did not have a score by Henry Mancini and the title role was not portayed by Peter Sellers. All three were involved at that time with the film The Party. The Mirisch Company wanted to proceed with this film, so when Sellers and Edwards declined to participate, Mirisch decided to proceed without them. The film languished in obscurity and although it has been released to home video on VHS and DVD, was not included in 2004’s Pink Panther Collection but was later added to the Ultimate collection released in 2008.

The film received mostly negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office.

An organized crime wave strikes across Europe. Suspecting a mole within Scotland Yard, the Prime Minister brings Clouseau in to solve the case. Clouseau foils two assassination attempts but is subsequently kidnapped. The gang uses him to make masks of his face which they later use to commit a series of daring bank robberies across Switzerland. Eventually, Clouseau foils the plot and unmasks the traitor within the Yard.

Yeah, this was one of the indications that you could not make a really good Pink Panther esque movie without the people behind it, Blake Edwards, Henry Mancini and Peter Sellers, you didn’t have any of those three guys there and thus, a lot of the magic that was in the previous two Pink Panther films, it just wasn’t there anymore.

And don’t get me wrong, Alan Arkin is an excellent comedic actor and he tries his best but he’s not doing his own Clouseau, he’s trying to copy verbatim what Sellers made famous and it just doesn’t come together. Even Bud Yorkin, who, let’s be honest, did not direct an overall great movie in his career but had better success producing the Blade Runner movies, tries too hard to be too much like Blake Edwards in his directing style and it just doesn’t come together.

There’s not even any good laughs in this, it’s like this movie is the anti A Shot In The Dark, that was a movie that didn’t use the Pink Panther tropes but still found success because it was funny and created a good adventure for Clouseau. Inspector Clouseau is not that, it’s just a mess of a movie, not funny, not creative, and a waste of great talent, it’s a bad movie, it may very well be the worst Pink Panther movie of the series although technically it’s not part of that franchise.

You really needed the original trio back together again and sure enough, the next movie would do just that.

MOVIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST

The Pink Panther

Inspector Clouseau

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