THE PARTY
1968, MGM Repertory, 99 min, Dir: Blake Edwards

For most of its length, THE PARTY is a wonderfully restrained homage to Jacques Tati, with Peter Sellers in perfect pitch as an awestruck Indian actor who disrupts a chic Hollywood gathering with the help of French songbird Claudine Longet and an elephant. The final 15 minutes prove that any great joke deserves a totally outrageous punchline. Look for Steve Franken as an inebriated waiter and Denny Miller as a hilarious rhinestone cowboy


A SHOT IN THE DARK
1964, MGM Repertory, 99 min, Dir: Blake Edwards

Blake Edwards’ follow-up to THE PINK PANTHER is a non-stop barrage of pratfalls, sight gags and linguistic nonsense, courtesy of Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers). Everything seems freshly minted, from Herbert Lom’s hysterics as Chief Inspector Dreyfus to Burt Kwouk’s first appearance as Cato.


THE PINK PANTHER
1964, Park Circus/MGM, 113 min, Dir: Blake Edwards

Writer-director Blake Edwards introduced Peter Sellers’ absolutely clueless Inspector Jacques Clouseau with this comedy about a British jewel thief and playboy (David Niven) on a ski holiday with nephew Robert Wagner, mistress Capucine, exotic princess Claudia Cardinale and a priceless diamond in tow.


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