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BLAKE EDWARDS RETURNS WITH 'CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER'

Herbert Lom's Dreyfus has still got it in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER Year: 1983 Rating: ***1/2
Blake Edwards held onto the Peter Sellers legacy for two entire films. First with TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER in which Inspector Jacques Clouseau is infamously brought back to life...

This done with deleted scenes from THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN before vanishing into thin air: a lousy patchwork with cameos by original PANTHER alumni David Niven and Robert Wagner with a forgettable subplot involving Robert Loggia as a mobster (Sellers' young widow, Lynne Frederick, sued the studio for millions, and won)...
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Leading here to CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER, attempting to move the franchise along with new blood in dopey, spectacle-wearing Ted Wass as New York's un-finest Clifton Sleigh, chosen by a police computer rigged by Herbert Lom’s Chief Inspector Charles LaRousse Dreyfus to do the opposite of whatever gets punched in...

Basically, the dumbest/clumsiest cop is chosen to find the so-called legendary Clouseau, known to everyone but Dreyfus as a crime-solving genius.
Ted Wass as Clifton Sleigh in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Wass fills some pretty big shoes with rubber feet, providing physical comedy more written for the action-packed storyline than to get laughs outright...

In other words, his expressions alone don't cut the mustard. And Loggia’s goons keep moving in for the kill while Sleigh, tripping himself up at the last minute, always survives as the villains — including Dreyfus himself — wind up screwed in the process.
Ted Wass and Patrick Murray with a real doll in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Meanwhile, particular sequences, like Sleigh trying to keep a sexy blowup doll from deflating and the return of Harvey Korman’s snooty costume maker, Balls, are overlong and pointless, but the best aspects are the well choreographed car chases and fight scenes: one pitting Sleigh’s love interest (gorgeous Leslie Ash) against a group of karate-chopping gangsters during a Mardi Gras parade. Even when it's not funny, you’ll be breezily distracted by all the running around.

The familiar wily socialites played by David Niven (posthumously dubbed by Rich Little), Robert Wagner and Capucine sit around their mansion or yacht discussing The Pink Panther...
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Not the lanky cartoon cat featured in the opening title sequences but the priceless diamond (i.e. "McGuffin") the franchise is named after: All leading to Clouseau himself returning with a brand new face, very familiar to fans of real secret agent films. And yes, it's true, Ted Wass is no Peter Sellers. Then again, everyone is "no Peter Sellers."

But he sure does try, and his character — more of a vulnerable deer caught in headlights than bumbling buffoon — has a few good moments: one involving an umbrella in a rainstorm and subtle gestures, like kissing the wrong hand and having a diamond ring stab him in the eye... Lightly humorous bits perfectly befitting a lightly humorous and surprisingly fulfilling motion picture.
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Ted Wass in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Ted Wass in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER with Robert Wagner
Ted Wass in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER with Herbert Lom
Roger Moore in the end of CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Ted Wass in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Ted Wass in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Burt Kwouk in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Opening credit cartoon Pink Panther sequence for CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Robert Loggia and moll Denise Crosby in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
David Niven & Capucine  in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER w/ Ted Wass & Robert Wagner
The umbrella in the rain scene from THE CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
Leslie Ash aka  Juleta Shane aka Julie Morgan in CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER
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