From the Can't Leave Well Enough Alone Dept: New Clouseau

Steve Martin may be the new Inspector Clouseau.

They’re now scraping UNDER the barrel.

Do we really want this?

Boy, it’s a tough call.

On the one hand, I’m tired of the current frenzy to retread and touch up every successful film and television production of the past 3 decades. We didn’t need a Brady Bunch movie or a remake of Psycho. We didn’t need a tired recycling of Charlie’s Angels or Lost in Space or The Six Million Dollar Man. We certainly don’t need a new Pink Panther remake simply because Hollywood is out of ideas. What, is the writer’s strike still on?

But then again, if they’re going to do it, they might as well give it to Steve Martin, who knows as well as anyone how to underplay comedy.

Still… if Steve had any sense he’d say, “Look guys, I know you mean well, and all, but kiss my ass. Nobody should remake these, and it’s going to start with me.”

And then again… well, the original Pink Panther movies weren’t that good. They were pretty uneven. They are never as good as I remember them to be. Herbert Lom and Burt Kwuok are fantastic additions, but seriously. Blake Edwards had a tremendous emphasis on cross-dressing as a humor staple, which I don’t find funny. I fast-forward through those bits because they play about as humorously as an ironing board to the forehead. And there were bits that didn’t quite work because they were poorly shot, badly lit, and horribly overplayed (such as the costumer played by Panther regular Graham Stark). And yet… and yet… if they could just synthesize these into one film they could make the perfect Clouseau picture. One without the dull bits, one without Dyan Cannon or Rich Little, one without the torch-singing butler, one without the now out-of-place references to Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger.

I want so badly for them to do it again, and do it right, but I know there’s no way that Hollywood will get it done the way it should be done.

So I say again, tough call.


I feel the same way. For me these movies of dated very badly. The one scene that still stands out to me is of Clouseau trying to get into the castle in PPSA. I would like to see them do a real good, updated version. But I hope whoever plays Clouseau puts his stamp on it and not just imitate Sellers. I am not hopeful that it can be pulled off though.

Yes, this is not good; however…just think–it could have been Jim Carrey!

But… That was a priceless Steinway!

Not any more.

shudder that was my first thought as well.

I thought you said your dog does not bite.

i’d like to see him say “a BUUURM?”
like Peter Sellers. thats my favourite bit out of all of the pink panthers. but dont forget they really drove to the bottom before with the original series.
the on ewhere Sellers was already dead and they cobbled the film together out of outtakes, and , for fucks sake, son of pink panther, with that italian guy as his son. Roberto Benigni was it?

unless they put Jet Li in as Kato. that could be interesting.
otherwise, leave it alone.

Bu…bu…but I though Benigni was the new Clouseau. Roberto!!! :frowning:


Ah yes, the parallel bars…

That is not my dog.

Considering that was one of maybe five genuinely funny moments in the entire franchise, I am actually somewhat interested to see what Steve Martin brings to the Panther movies. He, at least, has been consistently funny throughout the course of his career.

Hmm, what about Bill Murray? He’s got some fierce comedy chops.

I say, cast Bill Murray as Chief Inspector Dreyfuss, and I’ll be there opening night.

I admit I’m curious, but I would much rather see Martin create a bumbling Detective/Inspector/Fed character on his own. Sellers had a rare talent for dissolving himself into a role. Though I like Martin, I doubt I would pay to see him do an imitation of Sellers’ Clouseau.

BTW, Has anyone read Martin’s Shopgirl and/or The Pleasure of My Company? I’m always up for comedic novels, but no one I know has given me a review of these.
(sorry for the slight hijack)

As long as it’s as good as Bilko…

Never been a big Steve Martin fan, but I still like most of the Pink Panther flicks so I’m not encouraged by this. And I think he’s weak with accents, so he might just come off as doing a bad Rich Little-style impression of Clouseau.

Besides his history with remakes does not impress me: Sgt. Bilko sucked and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (a remake of the Marlon Brando/David Niven comedy Bedtime Story) surprised me with just how little they actually changed from the original, mostly streamlining the story a little and updating the dialogue.

I say let Clouseau rest in peace, but if they must try to wring a few bucks out of him, try:

Rowan Atkinson as Clouseau
Jean Reno as Dreyfuss
Sammo Hung as Kato

but I dread the kind of casting Hollywood would probably do:

Steve Martin as Clousaeu
Dan Ackroyd or Tom Arnold as Dreyfuss
Gedde Watanabe as Kato

I’ve read Shopgirl, which I found entertaining, although somewhat slight. And I’m not just talking about the length, which was something around 100 - 120 pages. It’s also not very funny, nor is it meant to be. Most of the book deals with the titular character’s chronic depression. Still, I’d recommend it.

Much better, and much more inline with Steve Martin’s screen persona, was his collection of short fiction, Pure Drivel. Mostly taken (IIRC) from his submissions to the New Yorker, it was funny and literate. Although, now that I think about it, I can’t remember any of the individual stories. I keep getting them confused with stories from Jon Stewart’s book, Nake Pictures of Famous People, which you should also read, if you haven’t already.

Also, as much as I loved his Mr. Bean shorts and live performances, I have to ask: has Rowan Atkinson ever made a good movie? If they’re going to go ahead with this, I’ll take Steve, please.

I’m a big fan of Steve Martin. I never was a great fan of Sellers, although he obviously had his moment sof genius, and found the PP series rather lukewarm funny. Not only do I think it would be itneresting to see SM try his hand at Clouseau, but I think it would be nice to see a different director at the helm rather than Blake Edwards, who I just think had a very limited range.

I thought the Bill Murray/Dreyfuss suggestion was brilliant.

I think that says it all. :rolleyes:

I thought Benigni was inspired casting as a successor to Peter Sellers in that role; the problem, of course, is that Peter Sellers was the only thing worth watching in those movies. The plots got progressively more stupid and incoherent (and let’s not even talk about the “compilation” PP movie plots), and the other actors sleepwalked their way through the irksome dialogue and wooden characterizations (with the exception of Herbert Lom and Bert Kwouk, both of whom played their roles to the hilt).

The Pink Panther films outlived their best years by a long, long time. Let’s not exhume the corpse, please.

Ever see The Man Who Knew Too Little? It was pretty much a Clouseau-style movie without the funny accent – clueless person bumbles through a series of dangerous situations, succeeding through slapstick and improbable luck. And it was bad, in the same way that juggling hedgehogs is bad – it sounds amusing in principle, but is painful to experience.

Bill as Dreyfuss is a better proposition.

I laughed as hard at The Man Who Knew Too Little as I have at any of the Pink Panther movies. The big dance number at the end had me on the floor the first time I saw it. Sure, the over-all concept was hackneyed as all get-out, but Murray still put in a champion performance with what little he had to work with.

Then again, I thought Sgt. Bilko was underrated, too.