DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Return of the Pink Panther

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Tannehill, Jan 24, 2006.

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  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    XenForo Template  The Return of the Pink Panther Studio: Universal Studios Home Video / Focus Features Year: 1975 (2006 Release) Rated: G Aspect Ratio: 2.35x1, enhanced for 16x9 displays Audio: English DD 2.0 (mono) Captions/Subtitles: English SDH; French and Spanish Subtitles Time: 1:52:55 Disc Format: SS/DL (DVD-9) Chapter Stops: 34 Layer Switch: Insert: None Theatrical Release Date: May 21, 1975 DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006 The Feature: A new Inspector Jacques Clouseau is on the horizon, but before we get to see what Steve Martin can do with the bumbling inspector, we have a chance to see once more the one true Clouseau--Peter Sellers--under the auspices of writer / director Blake Edwards in The Return of the Pink Panther. In this third Panther movie featuring Peter Sellers and the direction of Blake Edwards, the fabled Pink Panther diamond has been stolen, and all fingers are pointing to Sir Charles Litton, a.k.a. "The Phantom," (Christopher Plummer) as the prime suspect. The trouble is, he didn't do it. Clouseau is put on the case, much to the chagrin of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). Hilarity ensues. If you have seen the Pink Panther movies, you know the formula. Your reaction to it is going to be related to your tolerance of slapstick, bad pronunciation, silly disguises, and Peter Sellers. I kind of like it, although I fully admit that when I first saw these movies, I was a tweener with little taste. This time, I struggled to keep from using the fast forward button to get through the seven hour length. Oh, sorry, it is just under two hours. Sometimes it just felt like seven. And that is okay. With the right crowd and attitude, and maybe a little alcohol, I can see laughing yourself silly at some of The Return of the Pink Panther. At least, the movie is better than the dreadful sequels that followed. The Feature: 3 / 5    Video: I never saw the first DVD release perpetuated by Artisan, but it was reportedly non-anamorphic widescreen. This new release sports a new transfer, 2.35x1 widescreen, and enhanced for 16x9 displays. The mid-Seventies colors by Deluxe are a little garish, but generally bright. The picture is a little soft; there is some grain, and traces of ringing around edges that might be taken for edge enhancement. The picture has some dirt and wear. But by and large, it is not bad for a 31-year-old film. Video: 3 / 5    Sound: The sound is the original, non-distinct monophonic, in Dolby Digital 2.0. There is some bass extension and highs, particularly in Henry Mancini's fun score. But this is not demo material. Sound: 2.5 / 5    Extras: There are no extras, unless you include the skippable trailers for The Big Lebowski, the utterly forgettable The Wedding Date, the campy Father of the Pride, and the quirky Northern Exposure. Extras: 0 / 5 In Conclusion: The Return of the Pink Panther is a fun little diversion, and the DVD is not bad considering the price (under $10 at some stores). I think I will pull this out for my usual Friday gathering and see how it is received. Overall Rating (excluding lack of supplements): 3 / 5
    Display calibrated by Steve Martin at http://www.lionav.com/
     
  2. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    Question...as we all know, all United Artists definitely owns of this film now is its theatrical distribution (parent company MGM/Sony/Comcast holds the theatrical rights to the ITC library). Steve, who currently is the copyright holder? It should be listed on the packaging of the new DVD from Universal/Focus...

    And a correction..."Return" was the fourth film in the "Panther" series, after "The Pink Panther", "A Shot In The Dark", and "Inspector Clouseau" (despite the fact that neither Sellers or Edwards was involved in the latter).
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

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    Thanks for the correction.

    I can't read the fine print on the box, but I do see the ITC, Focus Features, and Universal Studios Home Video logos.

    - Steve
     
  4. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU made by a different studio and crew entirely? So, then, it isn't part of the series proper, is it?

    And, re: the "dreadful" sequels, you must not have seen THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, because it's absolutely top-notch IMO.
     
  5. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU was made by different writers and producers, but otherwise released by the same studio, United Artists, and yes, counts as part of the Pink Panther series.
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Absolutely!

    Return and Strikes Again, are in my
    opinion, the best of the Panther series. Strikes
    Again
    takes top honors by far.
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I'll have to see it (probably again). I have distant memories of one with the wacko Herbert Lom sitting on some sort of laser, and with Clouseau doing an impersonation of Toulouse-Lautrec / Maurice Chevalier. Is that "Strikes Again" or "Revenge of the Pink Panther"?

    One thing I did see that looks like fun: the Pink Panther cartoons are about to be released in a 5-disc set. I always liked those.

    - Steve
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Steve,

    That would be Strikes Again
     
  9. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I saw this one for the first time when I was 4(!)[Dad is a hardcore Sellers fan]. It's still my favourite of the sequels. I think I'll have to pick this up.
     
  10. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I believe Strikes Again is Out this Tuesday.
     
  11. Ron Morgan

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    Well, it was Sellers on the laser and that was STRIKES AGAIN. The Toulouse bit was from REVENGE.
     
  12. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    As I said, the memories were distant. They all begin to blur after a while.

    - Steve
     
  13. Jo_C

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    Update, and Steve, if your watching...I took a good look myself at the back cover, and it confirms the copyright holder remains United Artists.

    OK, guys, now you know who the real copyright holder is.
     
  14. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    I was pleasantly surprised to find the entire series on sale at my local supermarket. $9.99 each. Buy 2, get 1 free. So I bought 'em all.

    At first glance, the new transfers look excellent.
     
  15. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm not sure about the individual titles... but the PP Cartoon Collection came with a $10 discount coupon for any of the remaining MGM Pink Panther films, the complete black vinyl box set released last year or the individual cartoon discs. A pretty amazing offer considering what these individual titles retail for. You can basically grab any one of the MGM films for around $5.

    I already own them all though, and unfortunately it doesn't apply to the Universal release...
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    FYE was advertising Return for $9.99 and had cards all over the place promoting it. I tried looking for a copy but it seemed to be out. I asked the cashier and she said there's no record of it in their database.
     

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