The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)

PG | 103 mins | Comedy | 15 December 1976

Director:

Blake Edwards

Producer:

Blake Edwards

Cinematographer:

Harry Waxman

Editor:

Alan Jones

Production Designer:

John Siddall

Production Company:

Amjo Productions Limited
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HISTORY

       The 18 Sep 1975 HR and the 18 Sept 1975 DV announced that producer-director-writer Blake Edwards had recently completed a deal with United Artists Corp. (UA) for the production of Inspector Clouseau Strikes Again, projected to be the last film starring Peter Sellers in his only recurring role. As with The Return of the Pink Panther (1975, see entry), Sir Lew Grade and ITC Entertainment had a financial stake in the picture. According to the 20 Oct 1975 HR, and the 10 Nov 1975 Box, preproduction began in Nov 1975. The 31 Dec 1975 DV reported that principal photography would begin 28 Jan 1976. According to the 19 Jan 1976 LAHExam, the Shepperton Studio in Surrey, England, had been painted various shades of pink, inside and out. The film, renamed The Pink Panther Strikes Again, was budgeted at $4.5 million, twice the amount spent on the previous installment in the series. An article in the 29 Jan 976 HR stated that the shooting schedule was “penciled in” for ten weeks in London and four weeks in Germany.
       According to production notes in the AMPAS library files, the film required seventy different sets, which occupied four entire sound stages, and included an exact replica of the White House’s Oval Office. The “Doomsday machine” was the result of a collaboration between the studio’s art department and Sony Corporation researchers, which also supplied much of the electronic equipment used in its construction. In concept, the machine was supposed to transport ... More Less

       The 18 Sep 1975 HR and the 18 Sept 1975 DV announced that producer-director-writer Blake Edwards had recently completed a deal with United Artists Corp. (UA) for the production of Inspector Clouseau Strikes Again, projected to be the last film starring Peter Sellers in his only recurring role. As with The Return of the Pink Panther (1975, see entry), Sir Lew Grade and ITC Entertainment had a financial stake in the picture. According to the 20 Oct 1975 HR, and the 10 Nov 1975 Box, preproduction began in Nov 1975. The 31 Dec 1975 DV reported that principal photography would begin 28 Jan 1976. According to the 19 Jan 1976 LAHExam, the Shepperton Studio in Surrey, England, had been painted various shades of pink, inside and out. The film, renamed The Pink Panther Strikes Again, was budgeted at $4.5 million, twice the amount spent on the previous installment in the series. An article in the 29 Jan 976 HR stated that the shooting schedule was “penciled in” for ten weeks in London and four weeks in Germany.
       According to production notes in the AMPAS library files, the film required seventy different sets, which occupied four entire sound stages, and included an exact replica of the White House’s Oval Office. The “Doomsday machine” was the result of a collaboration between the studio’s art department and Sony Corporation researchers, which also supplied much of the electronic equipment used in its construction. In concept, the machine was supposed to transport its target to the fifth dimension. Sellers reportedly performed several of his own stunts, and prepared for the role by practicing with “Nunchaku” (nunchucks), at the behest of Edwards, who had trained with martial arts master Bruce Lee.
       The 2 Apr 1976 HR announced actress Maud Adams for the role of “a mysterious woman.” However, according to the 3 May 1976 People, Adams refused to perform nude on camera and was replaced by Lesley-Anne Down.
       A news item in the 27 Feb 1976 DV reported that newscaster Howard K. Smith would appear in the film interviewing disaster victims. The 3 Jun 1976 DV announced that comedian Harvey Korman had been cast as Clouseau’s disguise maker. As noted in the 8 Dec 1976 DV review, Korman was not credited in the picture. His appearance in the film has not been determined. Additionally, Smith and actor Jackie Cooper, who were credited onscreen, did not appear in the released version of the film.
       The 14 Apr 1976 HR announced that production was moving to Munich, Germany, on 15 Apr 1976 for three weeks of filming. A news item in the 7 Jul 1976 Var stated that principal photography for The Pink Panther Strikes Again concluded on 4 Jul 1976 in England. The article attributed the extended length of the shoot, which began in Feb 1976, to at least one mid-production change in casting, and “a good deal of improvisation.”
       According to the 27 Oct 1976 DV, The Pink Panther Strikes Again was scheduled to open in 600 theaters across the U.S. during the 1976 Christmas holiday, preceded by an extensive promotional campaign. The film premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square Theatre in London on 15 Dec 1976, as reported in the 18 Oct 1976 Box . Proceeds from the screening benefitted the Newspaper Benevolent Fund. Charles, Prince of Wales, would be in attendance. The 20 Dec 1976 Women’s Wear Daily and the 31 Jan 1977 People reported that Sellers did not attend the premiere because his girl friend and future wife, actress Lynne Frederick, had not been invited. Prince Charles expressed his annoyance with Sellers to the press, but also admitted to enjoying the film.
       The Pink Panther Strikes Again opened to positive reviews. The notable negative review was written by Rex Reed for the NYDN , quoted in the 12 Jan 1977 Var as calling the film “moronic” and audience members who enjoyed it “sub-mental.” The review prompted an angry written response from Gabe Sumner, UA Vice President in charge of advertising, publicity and exploitation, who labeled Reeds review, “an ugly self-indulgent piece of trash writing that diminishes all film criticism.” Sumner also banned Reed from all future UA screenings. Reed countered by saying that he never attended UA screenings, comparing Sumner’s attitude to fascism, and sending the executive a supply of laxatives.
       The 7 Feb 1977 Box announced that The Pink Panther Strikes Again received its Dec 1976 Blue Ribbon Award, with the approval of “a large majority of National Screen Council members.”
       The soundtrack album was released in Dec 1976 on United Artists Records, as reported in the 6 Dec 1976 Box. A news item in the 29 Dec 1976 LAHExam revealed that the singing voice of the character “Ainslie Jarvis” was supplied by actress Julie Andrews, wife of director Edwards. Andrews was also credited as Jarvis on the soundtrack album.
      End credits close with the written statement: "Filmed in Bavaria, France and at Shepperton Studio Centre, Shepperton, England.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Nov 1975.
---
Box Office
18 Oct 1976.
---
Box Office
6 Dec 1976.
---
Box Office
7 Feb 1977
p. 12.
Daily Variety
18 Sep 1975.
---
Daily Variety
31 Dec 1975.
---
Daily Variety
7 Jan 1976.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1976.
---
Daily Variety
2 Apr 1976.
---
Daily Variety
3 Jun 1976.
---
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1976.
---
Daily Variety
27 Oct 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 1976
p. 1, 37.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 1976
p. 3, 6.
LAHExam
19 Jan 1976.
---
LAHExam
16 Dec 1976
Section B, p. 4.
LAHExam
29 Dec 1976.
---
Los Angeles Times
11 Jul 1976
Section S, p. 1, 49-50.
Los Angeles Times
19 Dec 1976
p. 1, 68.
New York Times
16 Dec 1976.
---
Newsweek
27 Dec 1976
p. 57.
People
3 May 1976.
---
People
31 Jan 1977.
---
Saturday Review
22 Jan 1977.
---
Variety
7 Jul 1976.
---
Variety
27 Oct 1976.
---
Variety
15 Dec 1976
p. 19.
Variety
12 Jan 1977.
---
Women's Wear Daily
20 Dec 1976.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Blake Edwards film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Processed by
Denham, England
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Des by
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Const mgr
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Make-up
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Casting dir
Accountant
Prod asst
Prod supv
Dir of promotions and pub
STAND INS
Stunt arr
Stunt arr
ANIMATION
Anim and titles
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Until You Love Me," composed by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Don Black
"Come to Me," composed by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Don Black, sung by Tom Jones
"Tip Toe Through The Tulips," lyrics by Al Dubin, music by Joe Burke.
COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Inspector Clouseau Strikes Again
Release Date:
15 December 1976
Premiere Information:
London, Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 December 1976
Production Date:
February--4 July 1976 in England, France and Germany
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Color De Luxe®
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24583
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Charles Dreyfus, former Chief Inspector of the civilian police force, Sûreté, is declared sane by his psychiatrist and expects to reclaim his position after his impending release from the psychiatric hospital. He no longer goes into a homicidal frenzy at the mention of his nemesis, Jacques Clouseau, who was recently promoted to Chief Inspector. When Clouseau visits the hospital, Dreyfus is unable to retain his hard-won composure in the face of the inspector’s repeated, inadvertent assaults; Dreyfus relapses into insanity and vows to kill Clouseau. Later, Dreyfus escapes from the hospital and lies in wait at the apartment directly below Clouseau’s. Meanwhile, Clouseau enters his apartment, readying himself for a martial arts battle with his manservant, Cato. Dreyfus drills holes in the ceiling and watches Clouseau through a periscope. Cato attacks as Clouseau lays down for a nap, but the ensuing mayhem is interrupted by a phone call from Sûreté headquarters, informing the inspector that he may be in danger from the escaped Dreyfus. While Clouseau tries on his new Quasimodo costume, Dreyfus plants a bomb in the apartment, but the inspector is saved when he becomes airborne by the costume’s inflatable hunchback, allowing him to float out the window before the bomb explodes. Later, as bank robber Jean Tournier is escorted to prison, he is aided in his escape by Dreyfus, who flies the prisoner to safety in a helicopter. Dreyfus explains his plan to recruit the world’s greatest criminal minds and rob the Paris Credit Bank of $20 million. He then kidnaps Professor Hugo Fassbender and his daughter, Margo. The only witness to the kidnapping is ... +


Charles Dreyfus, former Chief Inspector of the civilian police force, Sûreté, is declared sane by his psychiatrist and expects to reclaim his position after his impending release from the psychiatric hospital. He no longer goes into a homicidal frenzy at the mention of his nemesis, Jacques Clouseau, who was recently promoted to Chief Inspector. When Clouseau visits the hospital, Dreyfus is unable to retain his hard-won composure in the face of the inspector’s repeated, inadvertent assaults; Dreyfus relapses into insanity and vows to kill Clouseau. Later, Dreyfus escapes from the hospital and lies in wait at the apartment directly below Clouseau’s. Meanwhile, Clouseau enters his apartment, readying himself for a martial arts battle with his manservant, Cato. Dreyfus drills holes in the ceiling and watches Clouseau through a periscope. Cato attacks as Clouseau lays down for a nap, but the ensuing mayhem is interrupted by a phone call from Sûreté headquarters, informing the inspector that he may be in danger from the escaped Dreyfus. While Clouseau tries on his new Quasimodo costume, Dreyfus plants a bomb in the apartment, but the inspector is saved when he becomes airborne by the costume’s inflatable hunchback, allowing him to float out the window before the bomb explodes. Later, as bank robber Jean Tournier is escorted to prison, he is aided in his escape by Dreyfus, who flies the prisoner to safety in a helicopter. Dreyfus explains his plan to recruit the world’s greatest criminal minds and rob the Paris Credit Bank of $20 million. He then kidnaps Professor Hugo Fassbender and his daughter, Margo. The only witness to the kidnapping is the butler, Ainslie Jarvis, who was found unconscious at the scene. Clouseau meets detectives Drummond and Quinlan of Scotland Yard at Fassbender’s home, where the inspector interrogates the staff. No evidence is obtained, but Clouseau does succeed in damaging a priceless Steinway piano and accidentally shooting Drummond in the buttocks. Fearing an international incident, the British detectives are reluctant to notify the Sûreté of Clouseau’s incompetence. That night, Clouseau follows Jarvis to a gay nightclub, where the butler performs as a female impersonator. While the two men tango on the dance floor, a pair of Dreyfus’s henchmen force their way through the crowd, but are subdued by Jarvis and the patrons, before the club is raided by the police. Meanwhile, at the Moonshine Castle in Germany, Dreyfus forces Fassbender to build a doomsday machine. Sometime later in Washington, D.C., as the President of the United States, his German-born secretary of state, and several other colleagues watch a football game in the Oval Office, Dreyfus interrupts with a worldwide broadcast, demanding that the nations of the Earth make it their priority to kill Clouseau, or he will cause mass destruction with his doomsday machine. He plans to demonstrate it the following Saturday on the United Nations Building in New York City. After Dreyfus signs off, the President orders the U. S. intelligence community to find out who won the game. Clouseau returns to the gay bar, but finds Jarvis near death in his dressing room, where the inspector discovers a leaflet for the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Believing it to be a clue to Dreyfus’s operation, he travels to Munich, determined to solve the case without any assistance from other agencies. On Saturday, the world witnesses the disappearance of the United Nations Building at the hands of Dreyfus, who demands that Clouseau be killed within the next seven days. When Tournier asks why killing one man would require such an elaborate scheme, Dreyfus explains, “The Doomsday Machine is a water pistol compared to the destructive power of Clouseau.” Following his arrival in Munich, Clouseau continues his investigation as assassins of all nations eliminate each other without harming him. Later, the President is awakened in the middle of the night with the news that twenty-six foreign assassins have been killed, leaving only the Egyptian and Russian agents. Meanwhile, Tournier, disguised as Clouseau, the Egyptian agent, and Olga, the beautiful Russian agent, all converge on the inspector’s hotel room. The Egyptian kills Tournier, unaware that he is an impostor, and seduces Olga, who assumes that she is making love to Clouseau. The Egyptian leaves, but Olga is still recovering from her moment of ecstasy when the real Clouseau returns. Several minutes pass before the inspector discovers the woman in his bed and the corpse in his bathtub. Olga identifies herself as a loyal Soviet agent who never had an emotional attachment to any man until this night. They examine the body in the tub, and Olga recognizes the Moonshine crest, which leads Clouseau to Dreyfus’s castle hideout. Dreyfus is overjoyed upon receiving word that Clouseau is dead, while at a nearby inn, the still-very-much-alive inspector rents a room and makes several unsuccessful attempts to break into the castle. Dreyfus’s call to the inn for a dentist results in Clouseau gaining access to the castle, disguised as Dr. Schultz. A mishap with a tank of laughing gas puts both men into hysterics, and after Clouseau removes the wrong tooth, Dreyfus realizes that his nemesis is still alive. While Dreyfus prepares to remove England from the face of the Earth, Clouseau stumbles through a remote part of the castle and is ultimately catapulted onto the barrel of the doomsday machine. Clouseau, Fassbender, Margo, and Dreyfus’s henchmen flee the castle when the machine begins to self-destruct. Dreyfus plays “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” on his pipe organ as he and the castle disappear. Upon returning to his home in Paris, Clouseau finds that Olga has outfitted the bedroom with an enormous Murphy bed and a sound system that plays romantic music. As the two lovers find each other across the vast expanse of bed, Cato attacks. The bed retracts, propelling Clouseau, Olga and Cato through the wall and into the river below. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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