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Trail of the Pink Panther

Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)

December. 17,1982
| Comedy Crime Mystery

The Pink Panther diamond is stolen once again from Lugash and the authorities call in Chief Inspector Clouseau from France. His plane disappears en-route. This time, famous French TV reporter Marie Jouvet sets out to solve the mystery and starts to interview everybody connected to Clouseau.


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The Pink Panther has been stolen once again. Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is assigned the case despite the protest of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). There is rumored terrorist threats against Clouseau and his plane disappears. TV journalist Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley) interviews some of Clouseau's compatriots.Blake Edwards stitches together this movie after Peter Sellers' death. He uses deleted scenes and archival footage to put Sellers into the movie. The overall feel is incredibly disjointed and distancing. Some of the footage is fun. I love Clouseau's fight with Cato but it's better to watch it in the original. This is weirdly unenjoyable movie.


Sixth Pink Panther film carries on despite the death of star Peter Sellers, as Clouseau goes missing after his plane goes into the sea, since he was assigned to investigate the third theft of the Pink Panther diamond. A news reporter decides to do an extended profile on Clouseau's life, interviewing many old costars from the films(like Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk, David Niven(back as Sir Charles Litton) and his wife(but Clouseau's ex-wife) played again by Capucine(though not the same wife from "Return" that was played by Catherine Schell! Can Sir Charles be a bigamist?) Disjointed and largely pointless film is made watchable by the use of outtakes of Sellers from previous films to tell the story, and sell the idea of him "appearing". Doesn't really work, but not as bad as some believe, though it is the last one worth watching(Did not bother with "Curse" or "Son")


In the early '80's, United Artists was in serious trouble. Having lost a king's ransom on Michael Cimino's epic Western 'Heaven's Gate', the studio now faced bankruptcy. The only way for it to keep afloat was to churn out as many hits as possible. Luckily, U.A. owned two of the most profitable franchises - 'James Bond' and 'The Pink Panther'. The main problem with the latter was that Peter Sellers had died of a heart attack in 1980.Nevertheless, the studio commissioned Blake Edwards to construct not one but two new 'Pink Panther' comedies. The first of these was 'Trail' and it was partly composed of unused material from earlier movies but mostly old clips. It begins in Lugash where ( surprise, surprise! ), the Pink Panther diamond is stolen yet again. Clouseau is called for, but for some unknown reason goes to London ( in disguise ). While there, he mysteriously disappears. Investigative reporter Marie Jouvet ( Joanna Lumley ) begins to piece together the detective's life by interviewing people from his past, such as 'Hercule' ( Graham Stark ), and 'Sir Charles Lytton' ( David Niven returning to the role he first played back in 1964 ). At this point the movie becomes a sort of 'That's Pink Panther!' as clip after clip is unveiled. To be fair, there's new footage too, such as the appearance of Clouseau's father ( Richard Mulligan ), who looks like Gepetto out of 'Pinocchio'. The flashbacks to Clouseau's childhood are amusing but marred by poor dubbing. Nudity rears its head for the first time in the series as we see two lovely girls treading grapes in a barrel. The movie ends with Clouseau's whereabouts still a mystery.I went to see this when it was released mainly out of curiosity to see how Edwards ( or Blake 'Entertainment' Edwards as he is listed in the opening credits ) had managed to make a movie out of all these bits and pieces. Thanks to the unused footage we found out Mel Brooks' regular Harvey Korman was cast originally as 'Professor Auguste Balls' ( the owner of the shop where Clouseau gets his disguises from ) in 'Revenge Of The Pink Panther' before Graham Stark. The audience laughed heartily for the first twenty or so minutes, but then when Clouseau vanished so did the comedy. No offence to Ms.Lumley but she is no substitute for Sellers. Niven was ill when he made the movie ( he was dubbed by Rich Little ) and it shows. As well as being a homage to the earlier pictures, 'Trail' doubles as a lead-in to 'Curse Of The Pink Panther' ( 1983 ), starring Ted Wass as 'Clifton Sleigh'. It seems a pity they could not have made a single movie combining the best elements from both. After the Sellers off-cuts, they should have brought in Wass and bypassed Lumley.Sellers' widow Lynne Frederick went to court to stop 'Trail' from being released. U.A. won its case but it did not matter. Neither 'Trail' nor 'Curse' did well at the box office and it would be a decade before another 'Pink Panther' appeared - 'Son Of The Pink Panther' starring the incredibly unfunny Roberto Benigni as Clouseau's illegitimate son. 'Trail' is a strange movie alright. It purports to be a tribute to Sellers', but is basically a tasteless money making attempt. He deserved a better send-off.


It could've been better movie and smarter greeting in the memory of (Peter Sellers). It wasn't that difficult to write a script which can make all the characters unites to find the real criminal especially with the existence of (Herbert Lom) as (Dreyfus), (Burt Kwouk) as (Cato), and (David Niven) himself, instead of this boring idiot TV report which deceived the audience by another (Peter Sellers)'s movie to discover eventually that it's just a miser scenes of him (deleted of previous movies of the series) then a program about him with some already used scenes from the series' previous movies !Maybe the shock of (Sellers)'s sudden death was stronger than everybody so they couldn't do anything. Maybe they were too loyal to seize the opportunity and occupy the movie of the great late icon after his absence. Or maybe (Blake Edwards) had something else in his mind.. in fact he wanted to push the franchise with another lead and I mean (Ted Wass) who'll appear at the next year in (Curse of the Pink Panther - 1983), so he made (Trail of the Pink Panther) as just the first volume however it was very odd and silly enough (the movie, the idea of another Clouseau, moreover THAT Clouseau !!). There isn't any bright thing in here : The pace is deadly, the performance is average which means bad in a Pink Panther's movie !, the personality of the father was pathetic; just a fabricated pretext to capture the lost presence of (Sellers), maybe the music of (Henry Macini) was the smartest element; you can sense its strong sad feeling while the elevator's simple scene which became like a small elegy honors and misses a star's uniqueness.So it could be a 20 minutes movie for the original Pink Panther as his last brief sketches, or a half movie; a forever deficient one which was too lame and proudly doesn't try to compensate its weakness with anything close to cohesive (Not to mention comic !), or it's nothing but a phantom of a dead star, lovely personality, or nice movie. In one word it's how to define demise or fizzle cinematically !