The Return of the Pink Panther

(Blake Edwards, USA, 1975)


A famous sequence involving Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) and a street accordionist (John Bluthal) gets its initial laughs from the musician's monkey, and then his blindness.

But the more elaborate set-up is taking place in the deep background, as a bank robbery occurs. When the crooks exit, Clouseau aids them by not only handing them the money they drop, but also lawfully knocking out the bank manager about to fire on them.

Director Blake Edwards is one of the few living masters of visual comedy, and this sequence illustrates well his principle of topping the topper – always building and extending the gag.

This film is a constant delight, with its clever narrative threading of a glamorous heist caper (Christopher Plummer as the Pink Panther) with the usual running antics of Clouseau, his beleaguered chief (Herbert Lom), and his ever vigilant martial-artist servant, Kato (Burt Kwouk).

MORE Edwards: The Man Who Loved Women, Son of the Pink Panther, 10, Switch, Blind Date

© Adrian Martin May 1992

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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