Revenge of the Pink Panther

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Revenge of the Pink Panther
Revenge of the pink panther ver3.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Blake Edwards
Produced by Blake Edwards
Screenplay by Frank Waldman
Ron Clark
Blake Edwards
Story by Blake Edwards
Starring Peter Sellers
Herbert Lom
Dyan Cannon
Robert Webber
Music by Henry Mancini
Leslie Bricusse (songwriter)
Cinematography Ernest Day
Edited by Alan Jones
Production
company
Sellers-Edwards Productions
Jewel Productions Limited
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 19, 1978 (1978-07-19)
Running time 104 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Box office $49,579,269[1]

Revenge of the Pink Panther is the sixth film in The Pink Panther film series. Released in 1978, it was the last entry released during the lifetime of series star Peter Sellers, who died in 1980. It is also the last entry to be distributed solely by United Artists, which merged with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981. The opening credits were animated by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.

Plot[edit]

Philippe Douvier, the leader of the French Connection, is suspected by their New York Mafia drug trading partners of properly conducting his business. To demonstrate otherwise, Douvier's aide Guy Algo suggests the murder of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau; but Douvier fails to bomb Clouseau, and the subsequent attempt by Chinese martial artist 'Mr. Chong' (an uncredited appearance by the Founder of American Kenpo, Ed Parker) is thwarted when Clouseau attacks him in mistake for his (Clouseau's) valet Cato, who had orders to keep his employer alert by random attacks. That night, Douvier poses as an informant to allure Clouseau; but the latter's car and clothes are stolen by transvestite criminal named Claude Russo (Sue Lloyd), who is killed by Douvier's men. Subsequently the majority of people believe Clouseau dead and, as a result of this assumption, Clouseau's rival, the ex-Commissioner Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), is released from the Mental Asylum to expose the killers.

In Russo's clothes, Clouseau is taken to the mental asylum (featuring a cameo by Andrew Sachs, whose character apparently believes himself Hercule Poirot), but escapes into Dreyfus' room, disguises himself as Dreyfus, and is taken home by operative François. At home, Clouseau finds Cato, who (despite having turned Clouseau's apartment into a Chinese-themed brothel) is relieved to see him alive. Having settled Clouseau's initial anger at Cato, the two plan revenge on the sponsor of Clouseau's assassination. Dreyfus is assigned to read an elegy at Clouseau's funeral, by the police chief's wife, on pain of his own discharge. During the recital, Dreyfus fails control his laughter at the praise of Clouseau, but disguises this by pretending to shed tears. When Clouseau surreptitiously reveals himself at the funeral, Dreyfus faints into the burial pit while the master of ceremonies completes his own oration.

Shortly after his wife threatens him with a divorce, Douvier tells his secretary/paramour Simone LeGree (Dyan Cannon) to desist in the latter rôle. Fearing that she will reveal his crimes, Douvier gives orders to have Simone killed at a nightclub. Having been told by an informant (Alfie Bass) of the possibility of trouble at the nightclub, Clouseau and Cato accidentally save Simone. At Simone's flat, Clouseau reveals his identity, prompting her to reveal that Douvier ordered Clouseau's assassination. Attacked by more hit men, Clouseau and Simone escape into Dreyfus' flat, where Dreyfus overhears Simone telling Clouseau of Douvier's plan to meet the New York Mafia Godfather, Julio Scallini, in Hong Kong, but again faints when he sees Clouseau.

Clouseau, Cato, and Simone follow Douvier to Hong Kong in disguise, unaware that Dreyfus has also arrived. There, Clouseau impersonates Scallini, while Simone distracts the real Scallini; but the plan goes awry when Clouseau's disguise is exposed. A car chase begins, terminating in a crash, where Dreyfus recognizes Clouseau and pursues him into a firework warehouse. Inside, Dreyfus mistakenly sets the stored fireworks alight, and the resulting explosions sow chaos among all the participants, which eventually leads to the arrests of Douvier and Scallini. Clouseau is awarded for their arrest by the President of France. Thereafter, he and Simone spend an evening together.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The opening animated titles in the film were designed by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, who had been involved with the series since the animated titles of the original 1963 film, The Pink Panther. It was the first time since Inspector Clouseau in 1968 that DePatie-Freleng animated the opening titles of a Pink Panther film (Return and Strikes Again having been done by Richard Williams' Studio). They later went on to produce the animated television series The All-New Pink Panther Show. Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther would be animated by the retitled Marvel Productions.

Reception[edit]

Sequel[edit]

Romance of the Pink Panther is a Pink Panther film Sellers was working on, and willing to make without Edwards, before Sellers' fatal heart attack. UA considered recasting the role before convincing Blake Edwards to return to the series. Edwards chose to replace Clouseau with a new character rather than replace Sellers as Clouseau and to utilize outtakes from The Pink Panther Strikes Again to set up a transitional film (Trail of the Pink Panther) with new linking footage shot on the set of the new film (Curse of the Pink Panther).

Soundtrack[edit]

The theme music, and much of the soundtrack from this entry in the series, draw heavily from the disco trends of the late 1970s. The theme itself was reworked to include a more dancy bassline, electric piano, and guitar solo.

References[edit]

External links[edit]