|Elke Sommer and Peter Sellers go au natural|
"I know I fell off the sofa, madame -- everything I do is carefully planned."
The second "Pink Panther" film with Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau is an amusing trifle that may just tickle your funny bone if you're in the right mood. Clouseau is called in when the chauffeur of Mssr. Ballon (the ever-wry George Sanders) is found dead in the bedroom of the maid, Maria (Elke Sommer). Maria is the chief suspect, but Clouseau -- smitten by her beauty and with no real facts to back him up -- is convinced that she is innocent. Highlights of the film include Clouseau's visit to a nudist colony where he wants to arrest someone for indecent exposure until he realizes where he is; a darkly comic segment wherein several innocent bystanders are wiped out by someone trying to kill Clouseau who has really lousy luck -- and aim; and the climax when clueless Clouseau confronts all the gathered suspects in the drawing room. Sellers is wonderful, matched if not bettered by Herbert Lom's hilarious turn as his apoplectic boss, Charles Dreyfus, who is literally driven mad by Clouseau's ineptitude. Martin Benson of The Cosmic Monsters plays a butler. Probably inspired by Sellers, Sommer [The Money Trap] is better than usual
Verdict: Some very funny stuff here. ***.