Inspector Clouseau (film)
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|Directed by||Bud Yorkin|
|Produced by||Lewis J. Rachmil|
|Screenplay by||Frank Waldman
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Edited by||John Victor-Smith|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
Inspector Clouseau is a 1968 United Artists feature film, the third in the Pink Panther film series. 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 MGM-British Studios Borehamwood and Europe.
When the series resumed with The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), costume design and elements of Arkin's performance were retained when Peter Sellers took back the role. Frank Waldman and Tom Waldman also make their debut writing the series. Frank Waldman would 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.
Inspector Clouseau does not feature Sellers, was not directed by Blake Edwards, and did not have a score by Henry Mancini. 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.
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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.
- Alan Arkin as Inspector Jacques Clouseau
- Frank Finlay as Supt. Weaver
- Barry Foster as Addison Steele
- Patrick Cargill as Commissioner Sir Charles Braithwaite
- Beryl Reid as Mrs. Weaver
- Clive Francis as Clyde Hargreaves
- Delia Boccardo as Lisa Morell
- Geoffrey Bayldon as Gutch
- Tracey Crisp as Julie
- Eric Pohlmann as Bergesch
- Michael Ripper as Stevie Frey
- John Bindon as Bull Parker
- George Pravda as Wulf
- Mary Fielder as Lady In Restaurant
- Edgar Both as TV reporter
In addition to the title role, Arkin also played the members of the gang whenever they were disguised as Clouseau, with the other actors' voices dubbed onto the soundtrack.
Following the two successful previous Inspector Clouseau films, Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers vowed never to work together again. Producer Walter Mirisch was interested in a third Clouseau film, but Sellers repeatedly refused the role. Following Alan Arkin's success in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Mirisch asked Arkin if he would fill the role vacated by Sellers. Blake Edwards turned down the director's chores so Mirisch found Bud Yorkin. Just prior to shooting, Sellers contacted Mirisch stating that only he could play the role and would, if he himself approved the script. Mirisch turned him down.
The animated opening credits were done by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, using their character design of The Inspector from the series of short cartoons under that title. (DePatie Freleng also animated the Pink Panther cartoon shorts, as well as the opening credit sequences for most of the Edwards-Sellers Clouseau films.)
In the scene where Clouseau is being chased through the cemetery after falling in the plot and disrupting the funeral, you can see a sign on a cross in the lower right part of the screen for a few seconds. The sign reads "Reposite En Pace: Norman Lear, 1903-1962". Norman Lear — very much alive at the time of this production — was director Bud Yorkin's partner in Tandem Productions in the early '60s, and would collaborate with Yorkin for many years on television shows as All in the Family (1971) and Sanford and Son (1972).
- "GeekBomb: The Enduring Legacy of the Pink Panther". Slashfilm.
- pp.167-168 Mirisch, Walter I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008
- TCM Notes tcm.com
- Inspector Clouseau at the Internet Movie Database
- Inspector Clouseau at the TCM Movie Database
- Inspector Clouseau at AllMovie