Movies In My Collection #193: The Pink Panther Strikes Again

The Pink Panther Strikes Again is the fifth film in The Pink Panther series and picks up where The Return of the Pink Panther leaves off. Released in 1976, Strikes Again is the third entry to include the words Pink Panther in its title, although the story does not involve the Pink Panther diamond.

Unused footage from the film was later included in Trail of the Pink Panther.

And it got weird….I mean, really weird.

Charles Dreyfus escapes from the mental asylum and tries to kill Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau. He doesn’t succeed at first, so he takes on another strategy, namely to build a Doomsday machine and demand that someone else kills Jacques Clouseau, or Dreyfus will use the machine to wipe out whole cities and even whole countries… With about 22 assassins from all over the globe on his tail, Clouseau decides to find Dreyfus alone and put him back in the mental asylum.

So not only does Dreyfus hire 22 assassins to kill Clouseau but he’s now turned into a James Bond madman? Can you see why I said this got weird?

But at the same time, it’s still pretty fucking funny. I mean, Herbert Lom in this is absolutely hilarious in this when he’s turned into this madman, it’s such a hilarious over the top performance that just works for some odd reason. In fact, he steals the movie more than Sellers does in this.

And with this film, you’re starting to see how unhappy Sellers was with doing these films.

The relationship between Sellers and Blake Edwards, never very good, had seriously deteriorated by the time Strikes Again was filmed. Sellers was physically in bad shape, and Edwards says of the actor’s mental state: “If you went to an asylum and you described the first inmate you saw, that’s what Peter had become. He was certifiable.”

Sellers was never happy with the final version of the film and publicly criticized Blake Edwards for mis-using his talents. The strain in their relationships is noted in the next Pink Panther movie’s opening credits (“Revenge Of The Pink Panther”) listing it as a “Sellers-Edwards” production.

Overall, Pink Panther Strikes Again is probably the most bizarre film in the original series but it still has a ton of funny moments that keep it entertaining. A good film but much lower in quality compared to the previous Sellers Pink Panther films.


The Pink Panther

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Posted in Movies In My Collection

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