The Pink Panther Strikes Again

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Infobox Film
name = The Pink Panther Strikes Again


caption = theatrical poster
image_size = 225px
director = Blake Edwards
producer = Blake Edwards
writer = Blake Edwards
Frank Waldman
starring = Peter Sellers
Herbert Lom
Lesley-Anne Down
music = Henry Mancini
cinematography = Harry Waxman
editing = Alan Jones
distributor = United Artists
released = 15 December 1976 "(US)"
22 December "(UK)"
runtime = 103 minutes
country = United Kingdom
language = English
budget = $6,000,000 "(est)"
gross = $33,833,201 "(US)"
$19,882,532 "(rentals)"
preceded_by = "The Return of the P.P."
followed_by = "Revenge of the P.P."
imdb_id = 0075066

"The Pink Panther Strikes Again" is the fifth film in the Pink Panther series and continues the story after the end of "The Return of the Pink Panther".However, it is only the third to include the words "Pink Panther" in its title, despite the fact that the story does "not" involve the Pink Panther diamond of the previous films.Unused footage from the film was later included in "Trail of the Pink Panther".

Plot

At a sanitarium for the criminally insane, former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), who is largely recovered from the murderous insanity that saw him repeatedly attempt to kill his rival, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, is about to be released. Unfortunately, Dreyfus' recovery is shortlived; upon encountering Clouseau (Peter Sellers), who is now Chief Inspector and has arrived with the helpful intention of speaking on Dreyfus' behalf, Dreyfus resumes his insanity.

Soon thereafter, Dreyfus escapes from the asylum, intent on killing Clouseau. His first attempt involves planting a bomb whilst Clouseau destructively duels with his manservant Cato (Burt Kwouk), who is under orders to keep Clouseau alert by randomly attacking him. The bomb merely destroys Clouseau's apartment whilst Clouseau himself is unharmed (viewers eventually learn that Cato was sent to the hospital), largely because Clouseau was then distracted by an inflatable costume and a telephone call. Dreyfus sets his sights higher; enlisting the help of an army of the most vicious criminals alive, he kidnaps nuclear physicist Professor Hugo Fassbender (Richard Vernon) and the Professor's daughter Margo (Briony McRoberts), forcing the professor to build a "doomsday weapon" in return for his daughter's freedom. Because Hugo Fassbender fears to have his daughter harmed, he agrees.

Clouseau travels to England to investigate Fassbender's disappearance, with typically chaotic results, as Scotland Yard Superintendent Quinlan (Leonard Rossiter) painfully learns. Meanwhile Dreyfus reveals an elaborate plot to get rid of Inspector Clouseau by threatening the whole of humanity. Disintegrating the United Nations headquarters in New York City before the disbelieving eyes of the world, he blackmails the leaders of the world, including the President of the United States (a thinly-veiled impersonation of Gerald Ford, advised by a similarly poorly-camouflaged Henry Kissinger), into assassinating Clouseau.

Forced to take Dreyfus' threat seriously, several nations send murderers to kill Clouseau at the Oktoberfest in Germany; however, in his typical bumbling fashion, Clouseau manages to evade each assassination attempt just as it is about to happen, so that the assassins all kill each other instead. The assassins of twenty-six nations are killed in the attempt; the only survivors are the Egyptian (an uncredited cameo by Omar Sharif) and Soviet Russian operatives. The Egyptian assassin, sneaking into Clouseau's hotel room, shoots a man he believes to be Clouseau (who is in fact one of Dreyfus' henchmen, who had taken it upon himself to assassinate Clouseau). The Russian operative, Olga Bariosova (Lesley-Anne Down), who has sneaked into Clouseau's room, seduces the Egyptian, similarly mistaking him for Clouseau. His passionate sexuality convinces her not to assassinate him; when the real Clouseau makes an appearance, he is surprised to discover a beautiful woman in his bed who confuses him further by declaring her undying passion for him, and by finding a dead man in his bath. A tattoo on the dead man, combined with Olga's dismissively revealed knowledge, reveals to Clouseau Dreyfus' location at a castle in Bavaria.

Dreyfus is elated at Clouseau's apparent demise, but his joy is soured by a bad case of toothache. Clouseau, who has arrived in the village near Dreyfus' castle and has unsuccessfully attempted to breach the castle, thwarted every time by a drawbridge that appears to be mocking him, eventually infiltrates Dreyfus' castle hideout disguised as a dentist, intoxicates Dreyfus with nitrous oxide, and pulls one of Dreyfus's "good" tooth. Realising the deception and laughing hysterically, Dreyfus orders Clouseau killed, but Clouseau escapes.

Enraged, Dreyfus means to seek vengeance on the world by destroying England; as he prepares for this, Clouseau—who has been thrown into the castle's barnyard—is literally catapulted onto Dreyfus' doomsday machine. Clouseau's weight redirects the disintegrator so that it hits Dreyfus (causing his feet to disappear) and Dreyfus' castle. As Dreyfus' henchmen, Fassbender, and his daughter, and eventually Clouseau himself escape the dissolving castle (Clouseau nearly thwarted once more by the drawbridge), Dreyfus himself plays the castle's pipe organ, laughing insanely and gradually disintegrating. The castle then disappears entirely.

Returning to Paris, Clouseau is reunited with Olga, who has dismissed Cato for the evening and intends on completing her seduction of Clouseau. Their romatic assignation is interrupted first by Clouseau's apparent inability to remove his clothes without a struggle, and then by Cato, who chooses this time to once more follow his orders and attack Clouseau. The inevitable struggle sees all three hurled by a reclining bed into the Seine. Immediately thereafter, a cartoon image of Clouseau emerges from the water, which has been tinted pink, and begins swimming, unaware that a gigantic version of the Pink Panther character is waiting below him with a sharp-toothed, open mouth (a reference to the film Jaws made obviously so by the thematic music).

Plot Similarity

Like "Strikes Again", the Disney film The Great Mouse Detective features a black-clad madman who captures a technician in order to complete his own plans and blackmails the technician by threatening his daughter. "Strikes Again" also features references to a stereotype of madman who lives in a remote East European castle and plays a pipe organ.

Cast

*Peter Sellers as "Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau"
*Herbert Lom as "Dreyfus"
*Colin Blakely as "Alec Drummond"
*Leonard Rossiter as "Superintendent Quinlan"
*Lesley-Anne Down as "Olga Bariosova"
*Burt Kwouk as "Cato"
*Andre Maranne as "Francois"
*Richard Vernon as "Dr Hugo Fassbender"
*Michael Robbins as "Jarvis"
*Briony McRoberts as "Margo Fassbender"
*Dick Crockett as "The President"
*Byron Kane as "Secretary of State"
*Michael Robbins as "Ainsley Jarvis"

Cast notes
* Due to Peter Sellers' heart condition, whenever possible he would have his stunt double Joe Dunne stand in for him. Because of director Blake Edwards' preference for shooting as if viewed from a proscenium, this would occur quite frequently.
* Julie Andrews provided the singing voice for the female-impersonator "Ainsley Jarvis". [Allmovie [http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:38171~T2 Cast] ] The scene in the night club when Jarvis sings are in many ways similar to scenes in Edwards' later film "Victor/Victoria" (fy|1982), in which Andrews plays a woman pretending to be a man who is a female impersonator.
* Graham Stark, longtime friend of Sellers, once again makes an appearance in the series, albeit in a small cameo role as the owner of a small German motel. Since his role as Hercule LaJoy in "A Shot in the Dark", he has since appeared in small roles in every Pink Panther movie except Inspector Clouseau, in which Sellers did not play Clouseau.
* Omar Sharif appears, uncredited, as the Egyptian assassin.
* Tom Jones sang the Oscar-nominated song "Come To Me".
* The role of Olga Bariosova, played by Lesley-Anne Down, was originally offered to Maud Adams.
* Blake Edwards made a cameo appearance in the background of the night club scene.

Production

"The Pink Panther Strikes Again" was rushed into production due to the success of "The Return of the Pink Panther".Thames, Stephanie [http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=17706&category=Articles "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (TCM article)] ] Blake Edwards had used one of two scripts that he and Frank Waldman had written for a proposed "Pink Panther" TV series as the basis for that film, and he used the other as the starting point for "Strikes Again". As a result, it is the only "Pink Panther" movie which has a storyline that explicitly follows on from the previous film.

The film was in production from December fy|1975 to September fy|1976, with filming taking place from February to June 1976.IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075066/business Business Data] ] The relationship between Sellers and Blake Edwards, never very good, had seriously deteriorated by the time "Strikes Again" was filmed. Sellers was physically in bad shape, and Edwards says of the actor's mental state: "If you went to an asylum and you described the first inmate you saw, that's what Peter had become. He was certifiable."

The character Dr. Fassbender is a rather blatant nod to one of Seller's earlier films "What's New Pussycat?" where Sellers played a character named Dr. Fritz Fassbender.

The original cut of the film ran for 124 minutes, but it was trimmed down to 103 minutes for theatrical release. Some of the footage was later used in "Trail of the Pink Panther". "Strikes Again" was marketed with the tagline "Why are the world's chief assassins after Inspector Clouseau? Why not? Everybody else is." Like its predecessor and subsequent sequel, the film was considered a box office success.

During the film's title sequence, there are references to Alfred Hitchcock, "Batman", "King Kong", "The Sound of Music" (which starred Blake Edwards' wife, Julie Andrews), "Dracula AD 1972", "Singin' in the Rain" and "Steamboat Bill Jr." putting the Pink Panther character and the animated persona of Inspector Clouseau into recognizable events from said movies. There is also a reference to "Jaws (film)" in the end-credits sequence. Richard Williams (later of "Roger Rabbit" fame) did the animated opening and closing sequences for the film instead of DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.

Awards

*The screenwriters, Blake Edwards and Frank Waldman received a 1977 Writers Guild of America Award for "Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium." The film also won a 1978 "Evening Standard" British Film Award for "Best Comedy."

*"Come To Me", written by Henry Mancini (music) and Don Black (lyrics), received a 1976 Academy Award nomination for "Best Song".

*The film was nominated for a 1977 Golden Globe Award for "Best Motion Picture", and Peter Sellers was nominated for "Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy". [IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075066/awards Awards] ]

Quotes

* "For me, the greater the odds, the greater the challenge. And as always, I accept the challenge." ("Challenge" being pronounced as "Shal-ahnje.")

* "A beekeeper who has lost his voice, a cook who thinks he's a gardener and a witness to a murder. Oh yes, it's obvious to my trained eye, that there is much more going on here, than meets the ear."

* "Most ingenious. The old closet ploy. I really must congratulate you; if there's one thing I enjoy, it's a good closet ploy."

* "Good evening, commissionaire. How are you, how is madame and all the little commissionaires?"

* "Until we meet again and the case is solv-ed."

* "There is a beautiful woman in my bed and a dead man in my bath."

* Inspector Jacques Clouseau:"Tell me, do you have a rheum?"
German hotelier: "I do not know what a 'rheum' is."
Inspector Clouseau: " [Consulting a phrase-book] " "Zimmer!"
German hotelier: "Ah! A 'room'!"
Inspector Clouseau:"That's what I've been "saying", you idiot..."rheum"..."zimmer"..."

* Inspector Jacques Clouseau: " [Gesturing to the hotel's dog] " "Does your dog bite?"
German hotelier: "No."
"Clouseau goes to pet the dog; it bites him."
Inspector Clouseau: "I thought you said your dog did not bite!"
German hotelier: "That is not my dog."

* Chief Inspector Dreyfus: "Compared to Clouseau, this doomsday machine is a water pistol!"

* Housekeeper (seeing Clouseau break a piano): "But that is a priceless Steinway!"
Inspector Jacques Clouseau: "Not anymore!"

Notes

External links

*imdb title|0075066
*tcmdb title|17706
*amg movie|1:38171


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