Review: The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

Directed by: Blake Edwards | 103 minutes | comedy, crime | Actors: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Lesley-Anne Down, Burt Kwouk, Colin Blakely, Leonard Rossiter, André Maranne, Byron Kane, Howard K. Smith, Dick Crockett, Richard Vernon, Briony McRoberts, Dudley Sutton, Murray Kash, Hal Galili

Former Chief Inspector Dreyfus is about to be released from the mental hospital after three long years because of the madness he has been driven to by his bumbling subordinate Clouseau. Much to the pride of Dreyfus’ physician, he is completely cured of his murderous tendencies where Clouseau is concerned. Clouseau has since succeeded Dreyfus as Chief Inspector and to encourage his predecessor he pays him a visit that last day in the institution. At first the contact goes well and nothing seems to stand in the way of Dreyfus’s dismissal. But soon disaster strikes and Clouseau drives him mad again through his inimitable blunders.

Dreyfus escapes from the clinic, assembles a gang of dangerous criminals and secures the necessary funds through a robbery. The gang retreat to an impenetrable castle in a small village, then kidnap Professor Hugo Fassbender (Richard Vernon) and his daughter Margo (Briony McRoberts). Fassbender has designed an extremely powerful weapon that can destroy cities and, if necessary, even the planet. By ‘torturing’ Fassbender’s daughter Margo, Dreyfus pressures him to build him this terrible weapon of destruction so that Dreyfus can pressure world leaders to hand Clouseau over to him. But Clouseau has his own tools to fight Dreyfus.

This Pink Panther film also has a number of fixed characteristics. Of course the cartoon at the beginning and end of the film of the pink panther, such a strong character that he later got his own, very successful cartoon series. Cato (Burt Kwouk), Clouseau’s domestic servant who must suddenly attack him to help Clouseau prepare for the attacks of his numerous enemies. During their hilarious, violent fights, a lot of furniture and the necessary works of art are destroyed. And finally, Clouseau’s inimitable, idiotic blunders, which make for incredibly witty slapstick, and combined with his aggressive investigative and interrogation methods in his very faint, but oh-so-fun French accent, make up the great charm of these comedies.

Not to be missed is the classic scene with the dog. Clouseau wants to pet the dog of the owner of the village hotel near the castle, but is smart enough to first ask if the dog does not bite. The hotel owner assures him that his dog does not bite. Clouseau therefore picks up the dog, but the beast immediately bites him firmly in his glove. Clouseau wriggles free and says indignantly that the owner had said that his dog does not bite, to which the owner responds that this is not his dog. If this doesn’t make you smile, then you definitely shouldn’t watch this movie, but otherwise it’s a big feast of corniness. By the way, every time you watch the jokes and absurdities are even more fun because of the anticipation. Delicious.

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