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TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (article first published : 2007-12-9)

On December 17 at 19h30, the new MNet Stars Channel (Channel 154) will present Trail of the Pink Panther, part of the hilarious series directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers. The movie is widely considered to be a tribute to Sellers, who made five films as Inspector Clouseau.

Peter Sellers, who died in 1980 at the age of 54, “stars” in this 1982 movie, playing the bumbling French detective Jacques Clouseau who disappears while investigating the theft of the fabulous Pink Panther diamond. Sellers’ starring role after his death was made possible by patching together outtakes and clips from previous Pink Panther movies, and allowing the detective to disappear early on in the movie. Joanna Lumley plays a reporter who, in an attempt to find out what happened to him, interviews various people from his past. The film also features David Niven.

David Niven appears in another one of the Pink Panther series directed by Blake Edwards, starring alongside Ted Wass, David Niven and Robert Wagner. Titled Curse Of The Pink Panther, it will feature on MNet Stars on December 11 at 19h30.

In this movie, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, France’s greatest detective, has gone missing, and his boss is under pressure to find him. Dreyfus, who never wants to set eyes on his clumsy detective again, instructs the Interpol computer to find the world’s worst detective. Enter Clifton Sleigh, a bumbling New York cop, who not only has to find Clouseau, but also the Pink Panther diamond, which has an annoying habit of going missing from time to time. This movie, which features a new bumbling detective, was an attempt to resurrect the Pink Panther movie franchise, which effectively died with Peter Sellers’ death in 1980.

Son of the Pink Panther will be screened on December 12 at 19h30. Directed by Blake Edwards in 1993, it stars Roberto Benigni, Herbert Lom and Claudia Cardinale. While visiting France, an Asian princess is kidnapped, and Commissioner Dreyfus is instructed to find her. He ropes in patrolman Jacques Gambrelli (Roberto Begnini before Life is Beautiful fame), who looks vaguely familiar. When Dreyfus visits the young cop’s mother, he realises that Jacques is the son of the late great detective Jacques Clouseau. Dreyfus is horrified, as Clouseau had the habit of making him very nervous. Could this lad be a chip off the old block? He can feel a twitch coming on already …




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