“I’m sure no one ever had a husband like you.”
A British playboy (David Niven) and his nephew (Robert Wagner) separately attempt to steal a valuable jewel from a princess (Claudia Cardinale) while bumbling police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) — whose wife (Capucine) is having an affair with Niven — tries to determine the identity of a notorious jewel thief known as “The Phantom” (Niven).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Blake Edwards Films
- Capucine Films
- Claudia Cardinale Films
- David Niven Films
- Detectives and Private Eyes
- Peter Sellers Films
- Robert Wagner Films
- Thieves and Criminals
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary accurately notes that this “overrated Blake Edwards comedy at least gave Peter Sellers his first chance to play bumbling Inspector Closeau”, and that “Sellers completely steals the film from the other stars, including topbilled David Niven”. He points out that beautiful Capucine (whose personal life was quite tragic) is “surprisingly good doing physical comedy with Sellers”; indeed, the “abundance of sight gags” — primarily between these two characters — are what stand out most in one’s memory. Unfortunately, the “film drags badly when Clouseau isn’t on the screen”, with the forgettable storyline seemingly designed as an excuse merely for audience members to drool at the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Of note are Henry Mancini’s beloved score, and DePatie-Freleng‘s animated opening credits — but this one really can be skipped.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and Capucine as his deceptive wife
- The clever animated opening credits
- Henry Mancini’s score
No; stick with A Shot in the Dark (1964) if you’d like to see a reasonably worthy entry in the series.