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Universal Studios Home Video presents
The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)

"Madame, it is my business to locate trouble."
- Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: January 30, 2006

Stars: Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Catherine Schell, Herbert Lom
Director: Blake Edwards

MPAA Rating: G
Run Time: 01h:52m:55s
Release Date: January 10, 2006
UPC: 025192155628
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-C+B- D-

DVD Review

Well, there's no mistaking the fact that the Pink Panther movies are really, really stupid, and this one is a paragon of its kind. If you have low tolerance for sight gags and pratfalls, you probably won't want to join in the general merriment—this isn't a deliriously comic movie, but lots of it is dopily funny, in large measure due to the man whose name is above the title.

That would be Peter Sellers, who throws caution to the winds and lays on a goofy French accent with a trowel, as Jacques Clouseau, bumbling French law enforcement officer who couldn't find his couch in the living room, but an only-in-the-movies run of dumb luck gives him a reputation as the man to see when the Pink Panther disappears. The item returning in the film's title is not an animal, nor an insulation pitchman, but rather an enormous diamond with particular significance for the good people of Lugash, the fictional nation in which much of the movie is set. Director Blake Edwards doesn't have the inclination to make this a posh caper picture, along the lines of Topkapi—rather, he uses Sellers, the rightful heir to Chaplin and Keaton, in a series of physical gags and implausible situations that would have made Mack Sennett proud.

It is Clouseau's very stupidity that is his most endearing attribute—well, that and his accent, favoring us with pronunciations like "pheun", "peul", "minkey" and "reum". Sellers works alchemy at times, mining the comic possibilities from the most mundane objects—a revolving door, for instance, becomes the center of a great comic set piece, and Clouseau routinely does such boneheaded things as gluing himself to a chair and driving a couple of trucks into a peul.

It's a good thing he does, though, because the story is really just warmed-over stuff. Clouseau's principal suspect is Sir Charles Litton, aka The Phantom, a notorious jewel thief who claims to have hung it up; Lady Litton takes particular, almost sadistic pleasure in making trouble for Clouseau. Christopher Plummer does his best to be dashing as Litton, but the performers who stand out (besides Sellers) are those willing to go all the way over the top—see, for instance, Herbert Lom as Clouseau's superior, whose rage at the ascendant reputation of l'Inspecteur leads him to all sorts of self-inflicted wounds. You can hop around in the movie and not really miss much; Sellers and his goofiness are the stars, and there's plenty to go around.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Colors are awfully dull, even—horrors—the many shades of pink.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Some buzz and pop, but never fear: Henry Mancini's signature score sounds fine all the way through.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 34 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Big Lebowski, The Wedding Date, Father of the Pride, Northern Exposure: Seasons 1-3
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Only chapter stops and trailers.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Not a first-rate movie, really, but it is sort of riotous with stupidity, thanks almost exclusively to the spectacular Peter Sellers.

 


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