» » El rey del peligro (1968)

El rey del peligro (1968) Online

El rey del peligro (1968) Online
Original Title :
Inspector Clouseau
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Crime / Mystery
Year :
Directror :
Bud Yorkin
Cast :
Alan Arkin,Frank Finlay,Delia Boccardo
Writer :
Blake Edwards,Maurice Richlin
Type :
Time :
1h 36min
Rating :
El rey del peligro (1968) Online

Detective Inspector is borrowed from the Surete on special assignment for Scotland Yard in hopes that a fresh outlook will help the government recover the loot from the Great Train Robbery, which is being used to underwrite a new crime wave. What they don't count on, however, is having more than one Closeeau on the job.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Arkin Alan Arkin - Insp. Jacques Clouseau
Frank Finlay Frank Finlay - Supt. Weaver
Delia Boccardo Delia Boccardo - Lisa Morrel
Barry Foster Barry Foster - Addison Steele
Patrick Cargill Patrick Cargill - Commissioner Sir Charles Braithwaite
Beryl Reid Beryl Reid - Mrs. Weaver
Clive Francis Clive Francis - Clyde Hargreaves
Richard Pearson Richard Pearson - Shockley
Michael Ripper Michael Ripper - Steven Frey
Susan Engel Susan Engel - Carmichael
Wallas Eaton Wallas Eaton - Hoeffler
Tutte Lemkow Tutte Lemkow - Frenchie LeBec
Katya Wyeth Katya Wyeth - Meg (as Kathja Wyeth)
Tracey Crisp Tracey Crisp - Julie
Geoffrey Bayldon Geoffrey Bayldon - Gutch

Alan Arkin got the role of Clouseau because Peter Sellers was busy doing The Party (1968), directed by Blake Edwards, who was also the director of the previous Clouseau films. He was replaced by Bud Yorkin. Later, Sellers and Edwards would return to the series. With them, the original composer (Henry Mancini) also returned.

Clouseau's coat and hat were introduced in this movie and stayed part of the franchise.

Alan Arkin not only played Inspector Clouseau, he played the members of the gang whenever they were disguised as Inspector Clouseau, with the other actors' voices dubbed onto the soundtrack.

The musical group Portishead sampled the soundtrack for their song "Only You" from their eponymous 1997 album. The specific music sting comes from the scene halfway through the picture when Closeau encounters two of the gang members in an alley.

In the scene where Clouseau is being chased through the cemetery after falling in the plot and disrupting the funeral, you can see a sign on a cross in the lower right part of the screen for a few seconds. The sign reads "Reposite En Pace: Norman Lear, 1903-1962". This is an in-joke that refers to Norman Lear, who was director Bud Yorkin's producing partner for many years on shows such as All in the Family (1971) and Sanford and Son (1972).

Delia Boccardo receives an "introducing" credit

With Peter Sellers adamantly refusing to return as Inspector Clouseau, Alan Arkin was approached, following his big success with The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966).

User reviews



Detective Inspector Closeau is borrowed from the Surete on particular mission for Scotland Yard about some bank robberies have occurred in England in hopes that a fresh outlook will help the government recover the stash from the Great Train Robbery , which is being utilized to carry out a new crime wave . Then , to crack potential heist is called bungler Inspector Clouseau . Furthermore , in Switzerland take place a string of robberies and it's up to Inspector Clouseau to detain them . In Zurich , Clouseau is accused of bank robber and is arrested . As various members of a dangerous gang (Alan Arkin played the members with the other actors' voices dubbed onto the soundtrack) were disguised as Inspector Clouseau to execute numerous hold-ups .

This slapstick picture contains amusement , funny scenes , fresh and diverting moments but also flaws and gaps ; but it results to be a below average retelling based on the classic personage . Several chuckles and gags , the result of which is one mediocre entry from series and very inferior to previous and successive installments ; in addition , picture is not especially amusing . As Alan Arkin parodying this known role including his ordinary faces , grimaces and gestures . This is the first of the series without Peter Sellers , being regularly starred by Alan Arkin . Alan got the role of Clouseau because Peter Sellers was busy doing The party (1968), directed by Blake Edwards, who was also the director of the previous Clouseau films . Later , Sellers and Edwards would return to the series as well as the original composer , Henry Mancini . The main novelty turns out to be the Clouseau's coat and hat were introduced in this film and stayed part of the franchise . ¨The Pink Panther ¨ release was the first part of series of Inspector Clouseau from French Surete and being the last entry ¨Trail of the Pink Panther¨ by the late Peter Sellers though he would follow playing but with outtakes in other films . The role of Inspector Clouseau was originally offered to Peter Ustinov ; despite being relatively unknown internationally, Peter Sellers was offered the part, and was paid 90,000 pounds . The second Clouseau film titled , ¨A shot in the dark¨ , was released only three months after this film . It followed by ¨Return of pink panther¨ and ¨Revenge of pink panther¨. After that , it was continued by ¨The curse of the Pink Panther¨ that turned to be another flop and starred by Ted Wass and ¨The son of the Pink Panther ¨ starred by Robert Benigni , this is the eight part of Closeau series and a light comedy . Between 1964 and 1993, nine Inspector Clouseau films would be released, although Inspector Closeau starred by Alan Arkin and the movies made after Peter Sellers's death are mostly not considered canon . The reason they still kept The Pink Panther in the title was because it had become synonymous with inspector Clouseau . It appears some familiar secondaries such as Delia Boccardo who receives an "introducing" credit , Frank Finlay , Barry Foster , Beryl Reid , Clive Francis , Eric Pohlmann , Michael Ripper , among others . An animated Inpector Closeau was created for the opening credits because producers felt that the credits would benefit from some kind of cartoon character , being created by David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng . Lively and atmospheric music by Ken Thorne , replacing ordinary Henry Mancini . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson in Panavison and De Luxe color ; being made in Great Britain and Zurich , Switzerland .

The motion picture was middlingly directed by Budd Yorkin . He was a producer and director, particularly known for Sanford and son (1972), The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show (1956) and Start the revolution without me (1970). He was an expert on comedies , as proved in The Thief Who Came to Dinner , Never too late , He blows your horn , Divorce American Style and Arthur 2 on the rocks .


This 1960s film is a real oddity - a Clouseau comedy without director Blake Edwards OR star Peter Sellers. Alan Arkin plays the French sleuth.

It starts off well, with the usual comic cartoon credits - sans Henry Mancini score however. Clouseau arrives in England by plane, as he gets onto terra firma he realises he's in his socks and tries to barge past back onto the plane. There's a good line in some English bigwig's office, said bigwig says superciliously "I must say, it was not my idea to bring you onto this case." "You are too modest," replies Clouseau, oblivious to the insult.

But my, it goes downhill quick. Arkin, who looks like Freddie Mercury and has a bit of Borat about him, or maybe the English spy dressed as a policeman in Allo Allo!, is proud and bumbling enough, but lacks the boldnesss of Seller's portrayal. Arkin is too low key; Sellers's man would enter a room (or reum) and take command - when someone would make a fool of him without even trying he would suddenly turn brusque and a bully to reclaim the initiative.

Twenty mins in there seems to be no plot, just Clouseau faffing about, going to the Edinburgh Festival, which seems to be in London for some reason. Even as a curiosity, you feel the wind go out of your sales. You don't even know what the plot is, as the Pink Panther jewel is sadly absent too. There's the obligatory gadget rundown, with the usual "That's not a gadget, that's my electric razor/inhaler/lunch!" gag, later used in the actual James Bond films.

Arkin's Clouseau put me in mind of Johnny Depp when he's not chewing the scenery as Captain Jack but just fading into the background and being uncharismatic in films like Blow. Overall the film has a fourth-rate 1960s British comedy feel about it. You get the impression that even a lead actor wouldn't be bothered to rewatch this one. There is, however, a funny scene where Clouseau eavesdrops on a gangster's funeral service that made me laugh out loud.



Comparisons between Alan Arkin and Peter Sellers may be unfair, but let's face it, there's no way they're not going to be made, and when they are, Arkin unfortunately comes out on the short end of the stick. Sellers is so closely identified with the role of Jacques Clouseau that it's doubtful if ANYONE could have succeeded in playing him. Arkin actually wasn't a bad choice, though, when you get down to it. His comic talents have been proved time and again, he bears a close enough resemblance to Sellers to make die-hard Sellers fans comfortable, and the script is by two veteran "Pink Panther" writers.

So why is it such a complete dog?

Much of the blame can be laid at the feet of director Bud Yorkin, who completely botched the job, but the script is no prize, either; maybe the Waldmans didn't have their heart in it because Sellers wasn't doing it (or maybe Sellers and/or Blake Edwards had more input into the scripts of their films than anyone realized). Part of it is that Arkin doesn't have anyone of the caliber of the great Herbert Lom as Inspector Dreyfuss to work off of, or even a top-notch character actor like Graham Stark as Hercule, Clouseau's much-put-upon assistant. But I think a lot of the reason is, unfortunately, Arkin himself. Sellers' Clouseau was a catalyst for the disasters that inevitably befell him; he CAUSED most of his own problems without ever realizing it. To him they were just minor setbacks on the way to solving the case he was working on, because he was so thoroughly convinced of his own abilities--which, as we all knew, were virtually nonexistent--that he knew beyond a doubt he would solve the case and become the hero, which he usually did. You felt comfortable laughing at Sellers' Clouseau because, for all his bluster and misplaced conceit, you actually liked him. That's where Arkin's Clouseau fails. Whatever he is, he's not likable in the way that Sellers' Clouseau was, and doesn't engender the affection and sympathy the audience had for Sellers' Clouseau, despite his many failings.

While James Bond can go through several different actors' characterizations of him, there's really only one Inspector Jacques Clouseau, and that's Peter Sellers. Arkin tried, but he just couldn't do it. He shouldn't feel too bad, though; I don't think anyone could have.


Many reviewers claim this production stinks because Sellers isn't in it. Okay, those are the Sellers fans. But fans of the Pink Panther series (rather than die-hard Sellers fans) may not have minded so much that it wasn't Sellers in the driver's seat so much, had the movie not been a completely disgusting spectacle. This work holds NOTHING of the wit, the humor, or the heart of the others.

I'm sorry to say that this attempt was a failure, and this chapter may comfortably be left out of your Pink Panther collection, as the finished product holds nothing in the way of charm or character.

Sadly, it rates a 2.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.


Alan Arkin playing Clouseau would have to rank as one of the most awful casting choices ever made. (Will Smith as Mohammed Ali? Close. Di Crapio as a tough guy in 19th-century New York? Very close.) Arkin has never played clowns, nor is he one. He is far too cynical-looking for this type of role. Watching him say his lines was an exercise in embarrassment and major cringing. I suppose that die-hard PP fans who have nothing better to do can have endless discussions as to who was worse: Martin or Arkin. Maybe it'll take another 40 years for someone to attempt to make a PP movie without Sellers. What with the direction Hollywood is heading towards in recent years, it'll be someone like David Arquette's son who'll be cast to play the goofy Frenchman...

One person here wrote that one should forget about Peter Sellers and watch this movie on its own merits. Maybe he/she can do that, probably with some help from hallucinogenic drugs, but personally I'd find that a task both impossible and stupid. The fact is that Sellers DID do Panther earlier and was about 1000 times better.

Arkin is terminally unfunny with the sight gags, but it's the dialogue that really exposes his miscasting: there isn't a single line he says that is even remotely funny.

In all fairness, though, the script is garbage. The story has no flow, just a bunch of barely connected scenes strung together, the gags being rare and rather pathetic. The only thing the movie has going for it are the high production values, which make it watchable, if nothing else.


The Mirisch company should have tried harder. It is bad enough having an Inspector Clouseau movie without Peter Sellers, but why no Blake Edwards to direct or William Peter Blatty[A shot in the Dark] to script? Instead we have a rather clever and better looking than Clouseau should be, in the shape of Alan Arkin and a rather boring director in Bud Yorkin. The problem itself is with the script which is unoriginal, tedious and not in the least bit funny. Served with a good script Arkin would have become an adequate Clouseau, but still not as funny or entertaining as Peter Sellers. This is like someone else trying to play Frank Spencer or Rigsby, from british television. Despite this Arkin is at times quite good for the film, wich does have its moments. But i suppose the lesson to be learned is if it aint broke dont fix it. If you haven't seen any other Clouseau movies then you will like this i am sure. Otherwise hunt down A shot in the Dark or The Pink Panther Strikes Again. A total waste!


Most peoples opinion of the Pink Panther series is that as long as Peter Sellers was alive the films were classics. The ones made with leftover footage of Sellers, not so good, and the ones without Sellers ("Son Of PP", The Ted Wass "Curse Of PP", the Steve Martin remake)stink.

Well I am NOT of that opinion. Sure, it's nearly impossible to watch ANYONE else pretending to be the good Inspector, or a relative. But for me the best Panther films are the first 2 60's gems, "Pink Panther" and "A Shot In The Dark". Once Blake Edwards resurrected the series in 1975 with "Return" and "Strikes Again" the films got more and more silly and preposterous. I mean Clouseau' boss Dreyfus in an insane asylum or as the "Phantom Of the Opera" ruined the films for me long before most fans cried foul.

The thing I loved about the original 2 films were that, silly as they were, they were within the realm of possibility. That wasn't the case after "The Return of The Pink Panther", which I recall actually seeing in the movies on it's original release.

Perhaps that's why i'm much more forgiving of films like "Curse Of The PP" (the Ted Wass vehicle) because they didn't get as far out as the 1970's entries in the series with Sellers.

After finally catching the much maligned "Inspector Clousea" I have to say, although missing Sellers all the same, this is actually my 3rd favorite entry in the series right after the original two, and much better than the Steve Martin remake.

Of course one of the things for me that adds to it is the entire 60's vibe-I feel this is simply the most enjoyable time period to place this type of farce in. There's allot of 60's-isms that just fit in with this type of comedy. There's a reason Austin Powers tapped into the 60's thing for much of it's humor.

Arkin doesn't imitate Sellers (unlike Steve Martin) and plays Clousea a bit understated, but for me it works much better-again as one tries to image these things happening within the realm of real life. It's just too bad we don't have Herbert Lom as Dreyfus or a Henry Mancini music score (though there really is nothing wrong with the movies score at all as it is).

At this point in my life i've see the original Panther" and "Shot In The Dark" multiple times, but "Inspector Clousea" only twice making it my very favorite "Panther" movie to pull off the shelf and watch on my DVD burned from a cable TV showing of the flick.

Go into it with an open mind (especially those who somehow may not know the other movies in the series very well) and you could easily enjoy this very much..Far from a failure in my book..


I guess it would be redundant at this point to say Alan Arkin's Clouseau can't touch Peter Sellers, which is certainly true. Nevertheless, I admit I liked this movie (though a lot less than the Pink Panthers, of course), the plot is actually credible and there are some truly funny moments. I give Arkin credit for attempting a role heavily identified with another- and better- actor, and he's OK in it. It's not a total disaster, as some people have claimed and worth watching, if only for the comparisons. ** 1/2 out of 4


It would be understandable to not like this film simply because of comparisons to the Pink Panther movies. But I stayed home one day and it came on the Mystery channel and I laughed pretty hard. Alan Arkin did a great job playing the bumbling French Detective. From his accent to his clueless pride he plays him well. There is no Kato in this film, but that's good because it would make too close comparisons to Peter Sellers' Inspector. Lot's of funny laughs and lines, if you get a chance, take a look at this one.


Alan Arkin is a very funny man and a comedian with great timing. Check out his work with Peter Falk in The In-Laws, if you have any doubts. Also, he like Sellers, the man he's filling in for, he's a great scene-stealer and upstager. However, this film fizzles, farts and fails. It's like a good idea that never got done. The script starts, stalls, coughs, chugs, falls again, struggles to get up and then, dies. There's no story. Just gag after gag-- all we have seen before by the Master of the prat-fall and sight gag, Sellers himself. Arkin is fighting an uphill battle from the git-go and does his usual professional self. He turns in a competent performance but to what end? The story is disjointed and pointless, the characters unbelievable and forgettable, the cast is faceless (one reviewer asks, "Who else besides Frank Finlay can you name?") and the direction (what direction?) is sadly lacking. Yorkin is very disappointing as indeed, this entire venture was. I recall that it bombed at the box office. I was doing exams when it showed up and didn't make it the week it was released and it was gone the next.

You can howl about unfair comparisons to Sellers until the cows come home but the simple fact remains: every one of the Pink Panther films were well received and are classics in their own rights. This film, however, remains a paean to Alan Arkin's talent and an abysmal failure on the part of the producers, writers and director.


A lot of people dismiss this stance in the Pink Panther canon simply because it does not feature the great Peter Sellers in the titular role of Inspector Clouseau. Unfortunately, there's a whole bunch of other reasons this movie is simply bad.

First of all, the story is silly, naive, full of holes and outrageous plot devices and it generally feels as if it was written by a six year old after watching the first two Pink Panther films. I understand that this is supposed to be a comedy (and also that the Peter Sellers Pink Panther films are not IQ bending mysteries either), but I honestly can not believe that the writers thought the audience would buy this.

The acting in general is on a school play level, with a good actor such as Alan Arkin failing miserably somewhere in between the attempts to copy Peter Sellers and to develop a character on his own. The expression "wooden acting" applies here literally - Arkin's screen appearance seems as if he was in fact made of wood or forgot a coat hanger in his jacket, and although somewhat stiff motion was one of the signature traits of Sellers' Clouseau, it simply does not suit a ten years younger and much more physical Arkin here. However, Arkin does manage to extort a few chuckles here and there, but mostly so just by being laughably unconvincing in a role tailor-made for another actor.

All in all, it's a sad attempt at comedy, at if this film was made in its own right instead of being made part of a hugely successful and memorable series, it would have been completely forgotten by today. Which, considering Alan Arkin's otherwise fruitful career, would have probably been for the best.



When I first saw this film, I hated it. But the reason I hated it, was because I kept comparing Alan Arkin's Closeau to Peter Sellers' portrayal. Alan Arkin's portrayal of the bumbling French detective is way out of Sellar's league. I had seen several Pink Panther films before this and thought they were highly funny.

But when I watched this film again the other day, when it was shown on Sunday lunchtime, I tried to forget about the other Panther films, and Peter Sellars.

I found myself enjoying it. And I think Alan Arkin did a great job as the Inspector. Although, still nowhere near Sellars, he brings his own unique charm to the role, and when he originally took the part, it must have been a brave decision to make, knowing how much Sellars was admired for the role.

The film itself is enjoyable and worth watching. And Arkin is funny as Closeau. If you can forget about Peter Sellers playing the role, and give Arkin a chance, you might enjoy it yourself.

6/10 .
lucky kitten

lucky kitten

I saw this particular feature, and am understandably curious why neither Peter Sellers or Blake Edwards would associate themselves with this one.

Alan Arkin looked nothing like the character made popular by Sellers. He looks like Alan Arkin with a small mustache. He sounded nothing like Clouseau, he sounded like a real Frenchman.

This movie would have been better with Peter Sellers. The screenplay by veteran Pink Panther screenwriters Frank and Tom Waldman would have been better had Peter Sellers or Blake Edwards been more involved. Even the absence of the Henry Mancini soundtrack was a crippling effect. This movie is just plain awful!


I had always been a fan of Peter Sellers' Pink Panther movies. Alan Arkin, however, made an excellent Clouseau. Lots of great quotable lines and holds up under repeat viewing.Actually better than some of the later Peter Sellers versions.


'The Pink Panther' and 'A Shot In The Dark' ( both 1964 ) made lots of money for The Mirisch Corporation, so naturally it wanted a third 'Clouseau' feature. But, when negotiations with Peter Sellers broke down, they unwisely tried to make it without him.

'Inspector Clouseau' ( 1968 ) was doomed from the onset, despite good work from the talented Alan Arkin. To be fair, he makes no effort to duplicate Sellers' mannerisms. His 'Clouseau' is child-like as opposed to bumbling. Note his panic when he thinks his plum pudding's been sabotaged! Sellers would never have done that.

After animated titles courtesy of DePatie-Freleng ( accompanied by a jaunty Ken Thorne tune ), the film proper starts with Clouseau arriving at New Scotland Yard to help discover what became of the money stolen in the Great Train Robbery. Commissioner Sir Charles Braithwaite ( Patrick Cargill ) believes it is to be used to finance an even bigger criminal operation. Indeed it is. Mastermind 'Clyde Hargreaves' ( Clive Francis ), the son of a warder at Wormwood Scrubs, is known to the underworld as 'Johnnie Rainbow', and intends robbing the banks of Switzerland, using doubles of Clouseau to get past security.

Bud Yorkin, the director, later made 'Start The Revolution Without Me' ( 1970 ) and 'Arthur 2: On The Rocks' ( 1988 ). Tom and Frank Waldman's script is not bad - there is more plot here than you'd normally find in a 'Pink Panther' movie - but there are lots of moments where nothing funny happens, such as Clouseau jumping about on a bed at the Tudor Arms with two nubile girls. High spots include Clouseau's battle with a laser cigarette lighter in Weaver's office, his unintentional shooting of an assassin at the Highland Games ( which strangely is taking place in London this year ), his gatecrashing of a funeral culminates in him falling into an open grave, and his attempt at 'bugging' the Rainbow gang - he listens in on a television Western by mistake!

The strong supporting cast includes Frank Finlay, Barry Foster, Tutte Lemkow ( who was one of the cossack dancers in 'A Shot In The Dark' ), the ever-watchable Beryl Reid, Geoffrey Bayldon, and Anthony Ainley, with Delia Boccardo providing romantic interest.

With its international heist plot, gadgets and gorgeous girls, 'Inspector Clouseau' looks more like a Bond spoof. Edwards later took Sellers' Clouseau down this road with 'The Pink Panther Strikes Again' ( 1976 ).

Audiences rejected Arkin as 'Clouseau' ( as they did when Ted Wass and Roberto Benigni tried to replace Sellers in the '80's and '90's ), and it would not be until 1974 that the character would be seen again - in 'Return Of The Pink Panther' - starring Sellers, and directed by Edwards, from a script partly written by Frank Waldman.

Onev person who must have liked this film a lot was the late David McDaniel. His 'Man From U.N.C.L.E'. novel 'The Rainbow Affair' also features a devious criminal mastermind by the name of Johnnie Rainbow!
mym Ђудęm ęгσ НuK

mym Ђудęm ęгσ НuK

The three necessities for a good Pink Panther film are 1) Peter Sellers as Clouseau; 2) Blake Edwards as Director; 3) Henry Mancini as the writer of the music.

"Inspector Clouseau" contains none of these.

The music is the best of the three. Obviously, "Inspector Clouseau" does not have the "Pink Panther Theme" but neither does (arguably) the most satisfying Sellers/Edwards Clouseau collaboration, "A Shot in the Dark." ("A Shot in the Dark" does have a great Mancini score, especially its opening song). The music here is not Mancini, but it is workmanlike enough; and, in the long run, it's satisfactory. It lacks the Mancini magic, but it will do.

The AWOL Sellers is a more serious problem.

I have not seen the Clouseau re-set films with Steve Martin, but "Inspector Clouseau" seems to suggest that the good Inspector is not a James Bond, into whom any suitable actor may be plugged. James Bond was created in books before his movies were made, and so everyone had a chance to have a slightly different view of him.

Clouseau was created on film. Originally, the part was to be played by Peter Ustinov, but he backed out. Peter Sellers was riding a wave of popularity then, and director Edwards hired him for the first "The Pink Panther" (1963). Clouseau was not the star role, but Sellers stole the show and literally landed the role of a career.

Peter Sellers also may have been the best actor at physical slapstick since the Silent days. Just take a glance at the previews for other Clouseau films on the DVD of "Inspector Clouseau" and compare them with a whole movie full of Alan Arkin playing the same character.

Alan Arkin can be an extremely funny actor (see "The In-laws" [1979]). Unfortunately, his movements as Clouseau leave a lot to be desired. Two scenes spring to mind. In the first, Arkin's Clouseau is in the office of Commissioner Braithwaite (Patrick Cargill, one of the best things about this movie). He moves from chair to chair during the conversation, confusing Braithwaite; and the pay-off (which I won't divulge) is good. Sellers' Clouseau, however, would in small increments have left the office devastated. Later, there is a scene in a gentleman's club where Arkin's Clouseau runs around smashing things left and right with a Geiger counter. Sellers' movements were like ballet. He and Edwards would never have been satisfied with just swinging one instrument around and wreaking destruction with it.

(This is not to say Edwards himself could not be guilty of coarse comedy statements, or serious mistakes in judgment. Compare the scenes of Catherine Schell laughing at Clouseau's foolishness in "Return of the Pink Panther" to the much funnier scene in "A Shot in the Dark" when George Sanders stares on blankly on while Sellers' Clouseau demolishes his billiard room. And then Edwards made the misjudgment of trying to continue the series -- with Ted Wass and later with Roberto Benigni -- after Sellers' death.)

Then, near the end of "Inspector Clouseau," Arkin's Clouseau indulges in the unthinkable: self-reflection. He suggests to someone else that he may have been a failure, confessing that nothing ever goes right for him and he might be to blame.

This is impossible for Sellers' Clouseau. One famous reviewer (I can't think of his name) once mentioned how Sellers' Clouseau looks with sad reproach at a doorknob that has just come off in his hand. It is the doorknob that comes off in his hand that is guilty of a faux pas, not Clouseau himself. Sellers' Clouseau is the ultimate egotist. He always thinks he's right, even when he is forced to admit he was wrong.

There is the occasional moment in the "Pink Panther" films where a look comes over the face of Sellers' Clouseau that suggests nothing ever goes right and he can expect nothing better out of life. But Sellers' Clouseau will never admit his own ineptitude is responsible, neither to himself nor (especially) to another.

Arkin was probably a good selection on paper for Sellers' replacement. Unfortunately, in this movie, at least, he lacked Sellers' panache at physical slapstick.

The direction . . . is passable. The story leaves a lot to be desired, and the director should not have been satisfied with it. There are too many gaps where nothing funny is even suggested.

On the plus side of "Inspector Clouseau":

1) For all its flaws, the script does have some ingenious ideas, and even a few honest laughs. Arkin hits his stride as Clouseau starting with the meeting with Weaver on the train to Switzerland, but he falls out again when he sees Barry Foster's character on the street.

2) The cast is A-list. Arkin is a superb actor; it's too bad he comes off as a good actor "playing" Clouseau rather than being Clouseau. He is supported by Frank Finlay, Barry Foster, Patrick Cargill, Beryl Reid, and Tutte Lemkow (as one of the baddies in one of his patented small performances).

Clive Francis, who would in later years become an extremely watchable actor, lets the side down a bit as Clyde Hargreaves. He doesn't seem to be a comfortable fit for this part.

On the whole, it's easy to see why Sellers declined to take part in this movie. Arkin would have made a better choice to be a Clouseau-clone; but with the script problems, this movie might not have been made without the Clouseau imprimatur.

Whether it would have been better with Sellers, or whether this script and movie would have rung the death knell for Clouseau if Sellers had made it, we'll never know. It's just as well Sellers opted out, or he might not have had his triumphant return as Clouseau in "The Return of the Pink Panther."


"Inspector Clouseau" is the most obscure entry in the Pink Panther franchise, even more obscure than "Curse of the Pink Panther" or "Son of the Pink Panther." Technically the third movie in the series, "Inspector Clouseau" finds Alan Arkin in the title role of French Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a character Peter Sellers had started to make famous in two previous movies and a character that Sellers would become inextricably linked to in four more afterwards. "Inspector Clouseau" lacks the boundless energy of director Shawn Levy and actor Steve Martin's 2006 entry in the franchise or the subtle sophistication of any of director Blake Edward and actor Peter Sellers' indisputable classics, but director Bud Yorkin and actor Alan Arkin's entry is undeniably unique and actually quite entertaining.

"Inspector Clouseau" finds the ever klutzy Clouseau heading from France to London to France again and then onto Switzerland to take on the psychotic gang behind the Great Train Robbery, led by the mysterious "Johnny Rainbow" (Clive Francis). Clouseau is assisted by shifty Scotland Yard Inspector Weaver (Frank Finlay, who played Inspector Lestrade in "A Study in Terror" and again in "Murder by Decree") who arms Clouseau with an array of James Bond-style gadgetry. Along the way Clouseau, as he's always had the knack to, finds his way into the arms of beautiful babes and takes out dangerous underworld assassins trying to kill him, all completely on accident.

Bud Yorkin's directing style is quite different from Blake Edward's, and the whole movie feels like a completely different animal from any of the other Pink Panther flicks. But the movie finds a charm and sense of fun all its own. A lack of a jazzy Henry Mancini score adds to the distance from other Panthers, but Ken Thorne's hummable score is a suitable replacement. Memorable moments include a scene where Clouseau moves from chair to chair while being debriefed by the Scotland Yard commissioner (Patrick Cargill), a scene where he finds himself "modeling" for a seductive photographer, and a hilarious sequence where he and Weaver become intensely competitive playing games on a speeding train. There's also a sufficient number of twists and turns that make this movie worth a look despite its obscurity.


It's already been said: the idea of replacing Peter Sellers with Alan Arkin in the role of Inspector Clouseau did not work at all. Arkin tries valiantly, but mostly he seems like a serious actor trapped in a comic role, and his efforts come off as forced. But regardless of who's playing Clouseau, this is a flat, long comedy with a story that makes little sense and apparently ends without being fully resolved, and only a handful of funny moments along the way. Catch "Pink Panther Strikes Again" instead! (**)


...of the comedic talents of Alan Arkin.

Arkin is a fine actor, with a flair for incorporating pathos into comedy. Arkin's Clouseau was different from the one that Sellers had portrayed (though the Clouseau in The Pink Panther & A Shot In The Dark was far removed from the Clouseau in the 70's movies) - Arkin's Clouseau KNEW that he was hopelessly clumsy and introduced a side to the character that Sellers steered clear of when the three picture deal was stuck during the 1970's.

Inspector Clouseau is also one of the shortest entries in the series; this would most likely be down to the fact that it seems choppy, with all the hallmarks of a movie being butchered down to around 90 minutes when a studio loses faith during post-production and test screenings.

Even if a restored version was released (though it's a pretty safe bet that the original elements ceased to exist decades ago), it would be a far from perfect movie, but it would at least give fans of the series a chance to properly evaluate the movie as a whole, rather than as just a series of disjointed set-pieces where characters appear and disappear and situations occur with little-or-no-reason.

Alan Arkin may have been mauled for his interesting interpretation of the character, but there was more inventiveness and creativity into his single stint as Clousea than Sellers put into the three seventies Pink Panther movies.


One has to keep in mind that, when this was made, only 2 other Clouseau movies existed, THE PINK PANTHER and A SHOT IN THE DARK. At that time it may not have been clear to the whole world that only Sellers could really play Clouseau. Maybe this movie helped prove that.

Anyway, it seems that Arkin's Clouseau starts with the character as he was in SHOT and takes him in a different direction than the '70s movies with Sellers would. Sellers' Clouseau at that point didn't yet have his totally ridiculous accent but sounded more like a real Frenchman, so it's only natural that Arkin would sound like one as well. Like Sellers' Clouseau, Arkin's is well-intentioned but with incredibly bad judgment, clumsy, prone to focus on what's not important, and easily thrown off course by a pretty face. Unlike Sellers' Clouseau, Arkin's is not only emotional but prone to panic, and is not only aware of but comes to mourn his ineptitude. It takes some time to get used to his voice, lower and thicker than Sellers. So, this is not the Clouseau we know, though the character here is well-defined and interesting in its own right.

The animated opening credits barely even try for the humor and charm of those in the Sellers films. The score by Ken Thorne (who scored the Beatles' "Help" and the Monkees' "Head") is the next best thing to Mancini, though.

Whatever complaints one might have about the plot and the directing (I won't repeat the ones already made, other than to note that the flow early in the movie is rather bumpy), I'll say this: the Pink Panther films made after this one came so much to rely on familiar formulas that it's actually refreshing how this film does NOT use them. There is no superior of Clouseau's being driven mad by Clouseau's ineptitude -- just one reacting to it like a real person would. The crime plot here is actually pretty interesting -- much more so than the theft of the Pink McGuffin that got so overused later. Sellers' Clouseau always sounded like a Frenchman among Englishmen, even when he was in France, which didn't make sense. So it was a good idea in this case to actually *put* him among Englishmen. (His malapropisms come off, quite logically, as due to his unfamiliarity with English.) And the rather obnoxious fantasy elements present in STRIKES AGAIN are nowhere to be seen here.

So, to sum up: Different from, and not as good as, most of the Sellers entries. But give me Arkin's Clouseau over Ted Wass' Clifton Sleigh.

A few highlights:

  • The nicely choreographed scene in Braithwaite's office near the beginning ("And what makes you think I trust YOU?")

  • The scene with the tape recorder in the graveyard.

  • Clouseau "eavesdropping" on the gang's bank robbery plans.

Item of special interest: the use of an Amphicar as a getaway vehicle. Cool!


This film is a forgotten comic masterpiece, replacing the cartoon approach of the well-known Pink Panther movies with better timing and something like a plot. Arkin is hilarious -- actually SUPERIOR to the Clouseau most people know.

Peter Sellers wore every role like a mask -- oddly enough, considering this one -- while Arkin is inherently funny and finds the inner motivation to make the character work, which Sellers never did. Also, the script is better. The shtick of Sellers doing "funny French voice" makes no sense a French setting; this removes Clouseau to England on special assignment, which works. It's as if the writers saw their chance to get away from Blake Edwards' influence and ran with it. There are actually some surprises, which never happens in the predictable, boring, unfunny Edwards movies.

INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU might be TOO tightly paced, unlike the yawning stretches found in the other films... the plot jumps around a little and it's as if some connective scenes are missing, but this is way better than the alternative.

There is plenty of slapstick, but it doesn't form the whole movie, with a plot tossed in on the side and wrapped up in the last few seconds. And even the quality of the slapstick is better, toned down somewhat. Draw back from "too much" and you get "just right." Arkin's Clouseau is somewhat sympathetic, not just a jackass. (This rescues the surrounding characters from their usual status as window dressing, too.) Even the introduction of Bond-like gadgetry doesn't derail the movie. Better direction, better music, and the action moves forward instead of undoing itself every two seconds.
Steamy Ibis

Steamy Ibis

Had Peter Sellers (and Blake Edwards) been available for "Inspector Clouseau," their careers might have fared better.

Or maybe not.

What we have is an interesting take on the famed French detective. What I admire about Alan Arkin's take on the character is that he makes him a more sympathetic character, and finds more of the essence of the character.

Perhaps Henry Mancini music could have added to the movie's appeal. Perhaps having Herbert Lom as Dreyfus would have helped. No matter. This is an interesting take on the Pink Panther movies, and definitely worth watching. And having a good cast and decent script helps, too!

PS: The London setting might have been a good idea, given the massive civil unrest that Paris encountered just before the movie's debut.


I can't really say this is a spoiler because Alan Arkin is a funny guy. But, is he Clouseau? Alas, no. Only the madcap Peter Sellars could do that. But, Arkin is a funny guy who gives this badly written and sleepily directed comedy his best shot. Try as he might, Arkin doesn't have the timing of Sellars for sight gags or the ability to superimpose role on role. Arkin marches through this disappointing film with a determined look but get little more than chuckles. Be fair. It's not Arkin's fault. This film is an idea that went looking for a story and never finds it. They got a good guy to carry the torch vicariously but who else in the cast beside Frank Finlay can you put a face with the name?


jaw droppingly awful.it's been awhile since i've sen this movie,but i do remember i found it butt numbingly awful.Alan Arkin Plays Clouseau in this one.i found his portrayal awful.but he also has a horrible script to work with.and man is this thing slow.how slow is it?well,since you asked,i'll tell you.it's slower than molasses up hill in January,that's how slow.i found very little to like about the Steve Martin remake of the Pink Panther.but that movie was nothing compared to this unexploded bomb of a mess.i can't give it a zero or a one,because there are about five movies i have seen so far that are worse than this.so,for that reason,my vote for Inspector Clouseau is a 2/10