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BLAKE EDWARDS DIRECTS HIS COUNTER-CULTURE 'THE PARTY'

year: 1968 cast: Peter Sellers, Claudine Longet, Steve Franken, Denny Miller (pictured), Gavin Macleod rating: ***1/2
Fans of Blake Edward’s PINK PANTHER movies starring Peter Sellers will find similarities between Indian actor Hrundi V. Bakshi and Jacques Clouseau: he destroys the English language (in the opinion of all impatient/uptight characters) and is able to turn any location into a falling-domino calamity...

First the movie set where he plays an army bugler who refuses to die after which, behind the scenes, he blows up an entire city/location when the cameras aren’t rolling.
Peter Sellers as Hrundi V. Bakshi in THE PARTY
Hrundi Bakshi's the last person a Hollywood producer would ever invite to his upcoming party, but our bumbling underdog is accidentally included on the guest list and our story, written and directed by Blake Edwards himself, begins.

The funniest scenes involve Baskhi at the plush mansion estate... complete with automatically revolving floorboards and a tranquil stream running inside and outside the plush layout... arriving earlier than most of the guests and then...
Peter Sellers watching Steve Franken get strangled in THE PARTY
By his simply walking around, we not only enjoy Peter Seller's hijinks but also learn the geography of the mazy mansion interior: including a dance floor, a pool table and a large dining room as a pivotal dinner scene where Sellers, in the physical comedy department, is not alone...

Character actor Steve Franken plays a waiter who gets progressively drunk, bouncing from the dining room to the kitchen while stealthily avoiding an angry chef's wrath (much like Clouseau with Herbert Lom’s Chief Inspector Dreyfus). And there's Western movie legend Bill Kelso, played by tall blond tough guy cult actor Denny Miller...
Gavin MacLeod and Claudine Longet in THE PARTYI
But it's the introduction to a gorgeous singing actress — at first hanging around with a stuffy producer — that two things happen: Bakshi gets a love interest and the pace begins to falter…

First upstairs as we’re absent from the party, which, upon returning, has morphed from a small gathering into a hectic 11th hour invasion of screaming hippie kids causing such frantic pandemonium that our klutzy hero means little to the mansion's eventual downfall. A damn shame because that party was Bakshi’s alone to crash and destroy.
A beautiful blonde on the movie set in THE PARTY
Hrundi V. Bakshi dying to get noticed in THE PARTY
Groovy front for THE PARTY starring Peter Sellers
Carol Wayne and Peter Sellers dine during THE PARTY

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