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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.85%
Worth A Look: 7.69%
Average: 3.85%
Pretty Bad: 11.54%
Total Crap73.08%

2 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Trail of the Pink Panther
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by MP Bartley

"It's a trail of something alright..."
1 stars

Much like how a greatest hits set is rushed out after a great and famous singer passes away, 'The Trail of the Pink Panther' aimed to capitalise on the death of its star, Peter Sellers. But at least greatest hits don't try and dress themselves up as something new, unlike this grisly autopsy.

So, a little film history lesson. Writer and director Blake Edwards was working on his latest Pink Panther movie, 'The Romance of the Pink Panther' when his star had the cheek to only go and die on him. So what does Edwards do? Make a dignified speech at his funeral? Proclaim that his film in mid-production will be shelved in honour of the legendary comedian? Or does he cobble together a few deleted scenes and out-takes from the previous films to construct a flimsy, 'all-new' film? Come forward and take a bow Blake Edwards, aka Dr. Phibes the Grave Robber.

(However, anyone who's ever read anything on Sellers will know that he behaved like an absolute twat towards Edwards - and everyone else - for most of their working lives, so maybe Edwards was justified for grabbing his pound of flesh. Maybe.)

But, issues of morality aside, what we have here is just a terrible film. The new inserts of Dreyfus talking about Closeau as if he were alive and walking around causing chaos, are ghoulish in the extreme, and the supporting clips of the pink panther jewel being stolen just don't fit at all. Then, halfway through the film, when Clouseau's plane disappears and the film centres on a journalist (Joanna Lumley) questioning those who've known and met him, the film loses all slight coherency that it had.

What Edwards perhaps hadn't realised is that generally speaking, if a scene was deleted, then it wasn't very funny in the first place. Ditto for the out-takes. The only time a scene actually comes across is funny is Sellers messing about with a lift - but that turns out to be an extended scene from a previous film. And that sets the tone for the entire second half. So while the first half is a horrendous mish mash of Sellers at totally different parts of his life, with painfully obvious differences in age and weight, attempting to pass itself off as one coherent whole, the second half consists of better, funnier clips from the previous Panther films. It's like one of those lazy episodes of 'Friends' where the cast are so lazy they can just construct a whole episode consisting of flashbacks to earlier episodes. And 'Trail of the Pink Panther' is about as funny as one of those said episodes.

While it may be a terrible film, it does prove two things: 1) watching the lean, energetic Sellers in the earlier clips reminds you just how great the first three or four films were, and 2) the defilement of the good Panther name didn't start with Steve Martin, Roberto Benigni or even Ted Wass. It started with someone who really should have had more dignity.

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originally posted: 03/09/06 20:31:44
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User Comments

3/09/07 David Pollastrini always loved the fight scenes with Kato 1 stars
1/07/07 JM Synth Horrible, but the title sequence is one of the funniest 2 stars
3/14/06 Lester M. Davis Peter Sellers never made a bad Pink Pather movie. 5 stars
6/21/04 Wamund Crap!!! 1 stars
4/30/04 Ben Hawkom Totally distasteful. Weinberg you aren't taking this too seriously. 1 stars
1/19/04 Jane wilson I really thought the episode in the plane restroom was so funny 4 stars
12/06/03 john a shameful entry into the series 1 stars
11/16/03 AshFan Naked wine stompers,a butt-numbingly annoying reporter, and an okay beginning with Sellers 2 stars
7/19/03 TheGreatDeceiver yes, it was inappropriate to make the movie, but, come on, the NOSE scene is hilarious!!! 4 stars
10/17/02 Charles Tatum Enough already! 1 stars
1/27/02 Luke An exploitation of Sellers. 2 stars
12/30/01 Monster W. Kung A big "WHY?" of a movie. Insulting. 1 stars
11/25/01 Cookie Cutter Horrible piece of crap. An insult to Sellers and the whole series. 1 stars
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  02-Aug-1982 (PG)
  DVD: 31-Jan-2006



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