Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose of Doozy #11: Building a Character as Slapstick: Peter Sellers

73 posts in this topic

The opening where he is telling the other inspector about the affair, Sellers is fidgeting with the stick to the point it is curved, then he takes his turn and rips the felt!  Hilarious.  Visual pun as, if I'm not mistaken by the billiard term, he "scratched" the table.  He does it so nonchalantly and matter-of-factly.  Genius!

 

I see Clouseau as very inept, playful almost, but striving to be professional. The ineptness leads to the silly gags, but he tries to remedy the situation but it gets worse or more complicated.  All done with a professional attitude the entire time.

 

Inspector Clouseau adds a bit of class to his slapstick, due to the part he is a police inspector, a job that is to be taken seriously.  In his job he inadvertently encounters situations that will test his physicalness (physical slapstick) and his explanations or discourses are silly, yet sound serious (verbal).

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As far as his publicity goes, he is known as top aced detective Inspector Jacques Cousteau.  Otherwise, as far as the bedroom is concerned, he is not so worthy.  Whereas, his wife has an eye for every man but his impresario.  The misleading facade of the the doting wife, while she is off gallivanting with another man.  She seems unamused, even bored with him.  The team of criminals seem to pay more attention to his presence, concerning their outwitting, foreplay, as well as walling technique.

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1. Select one gag from this scene and describe why it is effective as visual and verbal comedy? (You can include discussion of performance, costume, props, set design, sound design)

 

When Clouseau returns Ballon's pool cue to the rack.

Sellers makes the whole thing look effortless the way he knocks around and slips and slides on the cascading sticks, falling over while attempting to hold on to the upright sticks while reaching for the ones that have fallen. I love the sound the clanking pool sticks make when the camera is on Ballon. His expression gives away nothing of the disaster he is witnessing but the sounds tell us all we need to know. Even the non-response of Ballon and Maurice the butler works perfectly. And when the butler joins the frame Sellers adds him to the gag as if he is just one more prop.

 

The visual aspect of the gag works because it is just plain funny but what puts the cherry on the top is Clouseau's reaction. He doesn't laugh or smile or even look embarrassed as Ballon looks on. Instead, he remarks that the whole problem should instead be laid at the feet of the racks designer, as he deadpans, "...whoever invented that rack should have his head examined."

 

Ever since Dr. Edward's mapped out the geometry of the Marx Brother's State Room gag I've tried to pay more attention to the blocking of gag scenes. In this scene I noticed the abundance of upright lines, the paneling, the sconces on the wall, the urn and pedestal in the corner, the tall upright lamp, Ballon in his dark tux standing so tall and stately. The perfect verticality of the room helps anything horizontal look dissonant. So when Clouseau falls over, his and the sticks horizontal lines even though hidden are continued by the horizontal plane of the pool table and so look even funnier and more out of place.

 

2. From this scene, what are key characteristics you would use to describe Inspector Clouseau? Based on those characteristics, what makes Clouseau an effective slapstick character?

 

Clouseau is a parody of other fictional police detectives and PIs such as, C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan and especially Hercule Poirot. Clouseau thinks he is very intelligent and takes his job and himself very seriously even though he is clumsy and bumbling. Even when he misspeaks or causes havoc he maintains his pride and professionalism and tries to look dapper even when flailing about. He is a bit pompous and has no sense of humor but his infatuations, innocence and desire to maintain law and order are charming and help to offset his more egotistical traits. The secret to what makes him such a great slapstick character is this very thing. He THINKS he's Hercule Poirot but instead he's Jerry Lewis.

 

3. Making fun of police/detective work is a line of slapstick comedy that stretches all the way back to Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops in the silent film era. What does Inspector Clouseau add to the history of slapstick characters in law enforcement?

 

The faultless incorporation of verbal and visual humor. Clouseau does both brilliantly. I love his French accent. It's so weirdly French even other French characters can't understand him. Also I just love that he addresses transvestites as, "Sir or Madam"!! He's PC before PC. The Pink Panther is hysterical whether spinning off a globe, getting his hand trapped in a knight's glove or delivering a deadpan," Oh well, if you've seen one Stradivarius, you've seen them all."

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My favorite gag is when Clouseau is asked to put away the cue stick.  Here he is, dressed in a suit and tie, standing in a lovely billiard room.  Then, once he attempts to put the cue back in the stand, calamity strikes!!  As he winds up wrestling with the cue stand, it's almost as though the stand takes on a life force of it's own, fighting back!!  And the butler's attempt to help simply make it a three way struggle!! Clouseau gets his zinger in about the person who invented such a rack!! It's a nice combination of physical and verbal slapstick.

 

Clouseau comes across as a very serious man with a convoluted way of looking at things.  He is a bumbler both in words and actions.  He has some sense of propriety as he apologizes for tearing the fabric on the billiard table and knocking over the cue stand. He is also capable of feeling embarrassed and tries to cover this with placing blame on the inventor of the cue stand as well as the house's architect after he walks into the wall instead of walking through the doorway.  All in all, though, he wants to do well and it's fun to watch him solve crimes in spite of himself!!

 

I couldn't help thinking at one point that he's a sort of alter ego for Peter Falk's Columbo.  They both have their trademark trench coats and both sometimes  come across as bumblers.  But Clouseau is a genuine bumbler where Columbo acts that way at times to catch criminals off guard.  And where Clouseau solves the crime despite himself, Columbo is a highly intelligent man who usually  knows who the criminal is, based on his years of investigative experience, but then has to prove it.

 

 

 

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The rack is my favorite. He tries to put it away and it all goes astray. With him trying to fix it, it becomes worse and it gets crazier when the butler gets in on it. He is funny at blaming everyone else for his bumbling like the stand and getting out of the door. He's a klutz with everything around him and yet manages to appear like he knows what he's doing.  This is one of my favorite Pink Panther movies.

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OMG Where to begin. A Shot in the Dark is IMO the best of the Pink Panther Movies. This clip is loaded with funny bits from beginning to end.

I will start at the beginning. Clouseau is in love with Maria Gambrelli (suspected of murder) so he is uptight when questioning Monsieur Ballon, Maria's lover. The fumbling of words (rit of fealous jage) is not just funny as a Spoonerism, but because we know Clouseau is terribly jealous himself. He wrings the pool cue and is visibly agitated as he speaks. This is contrasted with the suave, calm George Sanders as Ballon. What's also funny about his agitation is that he doesn't realize how he is behaving.

 

The next gag (pool cue) is funny if you see it in context. He has already made a few shots with it, to great comic effect, either missing the ball completely or sending it flying in the air. So THIS time he gives a side look before shooting as if to say 'NOW I know how to make a shot) and turns the cue over, giving a subtle take with the eyes before shooting to say 'NOW watch me hit the ball' The side look and the eye take are brilliant comic acting. Then, his reaction upon ripping the table is great. He is wonderfully nervous and uses the word 'grazed' which is underestimating the damage. [NOTE: I saw some posters suggest Clouseau warped the cue himself when he wrung it, but the cue was warped when Ballon gave it to him. Ballon gave him the warped cue as a joke on Clouseau (and as a commentary of his own opinion of Clouseaua]

 

Third gag is the pool cue stand. This is great because Sellers Brilliantly prolongs his discombobulation with all the cues and drags it out, keeping it funny the whole time. Another funny element is that Clouseau is indignant, some how suggesting it is the pool rack's fault and not his own clumsiness.

 

This leads to the final gag, where he exits into the wall. Sellers plays this beautifully, and sells the gag as completely believable and natural. Again he is indignant, and blames the architect (?!) rather than acknowledge his own tremendous clumsiness. The crescendo of events up to walking into the wall is what makes him so flustered that he could do anything so absurd.

 

A great clip, and funny from beginning to end.

 

The key characteristics of Clouseau are that he is bumbling, inept, and clumsy, yet he doesn't see himself that way. He thinks he is effective - he thinks his is a great detective. Whenever he does a scheme, like going undercover, he is completely ridiculous, fooling no one, yet he never realizes his own failings. The running gag throughout all the films is that in the end he succeeds DESPITE his clumsy, inept nature. He avoids multiple assassination attempts by sheer miraculous luck. he manages to catch the crooks the same way.

 

Clouseau has a different take on the cop. In the Keystone Cop films and other silent films of the era, all the cops are of the same nature. In the Pink Panther films, ONLY Clouseau is a bumbling idiot. Dreyfuss, though eventually driven crazy, is very competent. Other police realize Clouseau is a clutz, but have to deal with him. The funny part is Clouseau ultimately succeeds in his cases despite his own ineptness, so he is given all these cases. Also, the 'Keystone Cop' in silent films was a 2 dimensional character - a simple bad guy or gag man. Clouseau is a 3 dimensional character, that we relate to, laugh at, but ultimately care about.

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Peter Sellers such a great slapstick artist!

 

 

1. Select one gag from this scene and describe why it is effective as visual and verbal comedy? 

The opening of the clip playing pool with a curved cue.  Sellers can see it is very curved, yet he continues to attempt to use it.  First with the curve up then down and cutting the felt of the pool table.

 

2. From this scene, what are key characteristics you would use to describe Inspector Clouseau? Based on those characteristics, what makes Clouseau an effective slapstick character?

Inspector Closeau is alert, yet clumsy and inept to many things.  This is what makes Inspector Clouseau an effective slapstick artist.  His antics are laugh out loud.  Just the simple act of placing a pool cue in place turns into a slapstick moment of wrestling with all of them

3. Making fun of police/detective work is a line of slapstick comedy that stretches all the way back to Mack Sennett's silent film era. What does Inspector Clouseau add to the history of slapstick characters in law enforcement?

Inspector Clouseau adds to the long line of making fun of police/detectives.  Inspector Closeau is a bumbling fool, who does try to solve the case but makes messes along the way.

 

Thank you :)  

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1. It's a toss up between the three gags. I chose walking into the wall. He's too busy talking to George Sanders to notice that he's on the wrong side of the door. The sound effect is partly makes it funny. The other thing is the remark that he makes that they need to have the house checked for the design. He acts like it's not his fault.

 

2. Sellers perfected Inspector Clouseau through the thick French accent, mspronounation or incorrect words and his bumbling ways. When you first look at him, he appears to be a typical detective then he opens his mouth or he he does something stupid like playing pool. Even in his more serious films there were subtle gags. This is also in his personality. He was known for his humor and gags off the set as well.

 

3. Sellers adanced slapstick with his comedy by being sarcastic comments while being funny. But in the end through him bumbling his way through he solves the crime. As another writer stated Leslie Nielson falls into this category. Gene Wilder and Robin Williams also come to mind.

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1. When Clouseau tears the pool table felt, the audience actually does not see it happen, but between his curved pool cue, and the angle he lines up, you anticipate it. Instead of seeing it, you hear it rip the felt.  To add to the humor, Clouseau describes it as "grazing" the table, while he is hopelessly trying to put the seam back together.

2. Clouseau tries to maintain his dignity, which his actions continually betray.  This resistance, to keep control, stretches and magnifies the humor.  It fleshes out and broadens the silent era trope of the snooty socialite getting a pie in the face.  

3. Clouseau includes a layer of verbal comedy, with malaprops and mis-sayings, as well as an arrogant delusion of control, that enhances the slapstick foundation, and makes one anticipate perpetual failure for this character.

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1. All of the bits in this clip are hilarious and priceless but I think that the one with the pool cue stands out. Clouseau nervous warps th cue and tries to play with it, damaging the carpet in the pool table and later knocks over the cue rack. Of course, he tries to explain it away. Peter Sellers demonstrates masterly of verbal and physical slapstick in this scene.

2. Clouseau is a well-meaning but bumbling, pompous idiot, in a good sense , of course. His verbal malaprops destroy both English and French and he is always a second away from a pratfall. Ten combinations make Clouseau almost the perfect slapstick character.

3. Clouseau adds an international dimension to slapstick's put down of the police. International intrigues, glamorous locales and conspiratorial plots serve as backdrops in the Pink Panther series and everything gets a once-over and comeuppance.

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1.      Multiple people have already covered the major gags in this short clip, so I’ll have to repeat and go with the pool table rip. After preparing to make a respectable shot with a bent cue, the camera zooms enough that we no longer see the end of the cue. We see him shoot and hear a loud RIP. We cut to George Sanders, just looking, then cut back to just Clouseau’s hands trying to pull the felt together. The camera pans up to Clouseau’s placid face as he calmly understates an apology: “I’m dreadfully sorry, Monsieur Ballon, I appear to have grazed your billiard table.”

2.      Clouseau considers himself a top-notch inspector and attempts to behave in an official, even condescending way. Sellers’ comedy as Clouseau comes from his ineptness, which circumvents all his attempts to gain respect. He tries to be careful in word choice with the man he is accusing of murder, but starts off the scene by mangling “fit of jealous rage” as “rit of fealous jage”; when this kind of thing happens, he pretends nothing is wrong. As Clouseau, Sellers assumes a faux snooty, French-like voice. He dislikes appearing foolish, so toppling the pool cues enrages him, something he tries to cover, as well.

3.      Police in the silent comedies were often the antagonists of our comedians – Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Arbuckle, etc. We hoped our guys didn’t turn the corner and find a humorless cop ready to arrest them for stealing a sausage, breaking a window, etc. The Keystone Kops, of course, were fools, which makes them a more direct line to Clouseau although they had none of his delusions of grandeur. Clouseau is often matched by cultured, witty Brits, like George Sanders here, who upstage him at his attempts to appear cleverer than they.

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1. Select one gag from this scene and describe why it is effective as visual and verbal comedy? (You can include discussion of performance, costume, props, set design, sound design)

 

My favorite gag involves the pool sticks, because it so simple and it enhances Seller's delightful clumsiness. One pool stick is used for comic effect: it is bent and Sellers has to turn it correctly, and the other pool sticks are for disorganization, where he drops them and slips while trying to fix them.

 

2. From this scene, what are key characteristics you would use to describe Inspector Clouseau? Based on those characteristics, what makes Clouseau an effective slapstick character?

 

Clouseau speaks in a uncharacteristically gibberish language, where he mumbles and misspells words; he has a questionable accent; his body movements cause him to slip and fall; and his expression never seems to change. Clouseau is a classic character because he is not afraid to look stupid and careless. Although he gets himself in extreme situations, you know he means well and wants to solves a case.

 

3. Making fun of police/detective work is a line of slapstick comedy that stretches all the way back to Mack Sennett's Keystone Kops in the silent film era. What does Inspector Clouseau add to the history of slapstick characters in law enforcement?

 

Clouseau adds a lever of physicality that looks and feels natural. The way that Sellers portrayed him is not reduced to stereotypes, and he doesn't wink at the audience. There have been many actors to play the character, but none have captured the absurd grace and experience that Sellers had. 

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1.  So many great posts from a three-minute clip! 

While there are several excellent gags to choose from, I will ask some small indulgence, as I point out a gag, while occurring probably seconds before, manifests itself throughout the entire clip.  If there is a billiard table, Clouseau will not only choose the most warped cue in existence,  but he's bound to have trouble with the chalk.  Lo and behold: from the :31 mark onward, you see the unfortunate results.

 

2. Clouseau is hopeless--completely, clinically, ritualistically  hopeless.  Literally everything the man touches, looks at or refers to, explodes.  It's all in the line of duty for our intrepid Inspector, physically making his way though the scene, leaving violent chaos in his wake. 

 

3. Sellers' signature character. IMHO, is the very definition of the "Bumbling Detective" who, despite his ineptitude, manages to lure the guilty into custody, sometimes screaming their confession just to get away from him.  Clouseau spawned a long line, reaching beyond slapstick into dramatic television (Inspector Columbo) and even cartoons (Inspector Gadget)

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1. Like others, my favorite gag in this clip was Clouseau ripping the rely on the pool table. We have the physical set-up of the wealthy house, a well-dressed Clouseau, and M. Ballon in a tuxedo. Earlier in the scene, Clouseau tried desperately to hit the cue ball with the curved stick, to no avail. What made the scene hysterical is that we see Clouseau turn the stick so that the curve arcs downward, but then the camera moves to the upper portion of Clouseau. We hear the felt tear, much like the sound of pants ripping, and then we see Clouseau trying to mend the felt. I thought that just hearing thesound of the felt ripping was funnier than seeing it with the sound effect.

 

2. Thinking back on our definition of slapstick, Peter Sellers fits the definition as Clouseau. His movements are physical and exaggerated. He is the victim of his own actions, and the slapstick is violent. His silly accent and mispronunciations are verbal slapstick, along with his pompous attitude. He is a clown with athleticism and perfect timing. We recognize that Clouseau is make-believe, but Peter Sellers makes Clouseau so real.

 

3. What Sellers did with Clouseau was to take a bumbling g fool and make him into a hero who solved his cases. We, the audience, recognize that his success is always accidental, and we watch the toll it takes of Chief Inspector Dreyfus. Clouseau is a master of keeping up appearances, and he somehow always managed to get the crook and the girl.

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Honestly, I have a great desire to riddle this post with numerous lines of "Haha!" in response to Inspector Clouseau's attempts of seriousness, but for the sake of articulation, I'll refrain.

 

I adore this scene and love the line "a rit of fealous jage." Sellers seems to have taken the Marx Brothers quickly paced, humorous chatter and turned it on its head. He spins this type of dialogue directly suiting Clouseau's character. I applaud this brilliance because he is presenting the dialogue in the way anyone (excluding the Marx Brothers and only a handful of others) would relay such wordage. Tongue-tied. The verbal athleticism of dialogue sparring takes evident natural inclination and much needed intensive practice. And, let's face it, Clouseau is not by any means naturally inclined to perform such gags, which is exactly why they work to such a degree of perfection. His gags have an apparent masking of gags that have truly gone wrong. Pure genius.

 

Clouseau is a klutz, naturally clunky in his own mannerisms. Subtlety, especially in dealing with suspects and investigations is an unrequited love. He looks for that ever so close relationship with the smoothness, possibly intimidating persona so effectively possessed by archetype detective characters often prevalent in crime films. Clouseau's slapstick approach lies within his own natural inabilities.

 

Sellers subverts the authoritative figures' traits he's trying to embody holistically. He uses every attempt in his questioning and investigating tactics to implement his slapstick gags. Detectives are supposed "poker face" type players. They typically are not overt with their facial expressions, all the while lacking an element of grace during the investigative process. They're resolute, serious, unflinching. Sellers reverses this aspect of detectives to execute his comedic routines. And, we are presented with an unlikely, yet unforgettable "inspector" the cinematic world still celebrates today.

 

*After viewing Dr. Strangelove some years ago, I quickly concluded Peter Sellers was in an arena of his very own, and I do believe I was correct in this assumption.

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Dr. Edwards,

The Daily Dose #12 was emailed this morning to us and it's about The Great Race movie.

The Great Race movie was aired last night.

Can you send these out before the movie is shown so we can some background first?

Thank you,

Bob

 

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Dr. Edwards,

The Daily Dose #12 was emailed this morning to us and it's about The Great Race movie.

The Great Race movie was aired last night.

Can you send these out before the movie is shown so we can some background first?

Thank you,

Bob

 

I understand and appreciate the feedback. But at this point in the course it is too late to make this change. 

 

Best, Dr. E.

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The gags themselves have been well-covered. But what I like in the way that they are executed, and in the character himself, is that Clouseau never breaks character -- he remains pompous, dignified, upper-crust in costume and language-- a perfect match to the character that George Sanders is playing (and has perfected in other films). (Here at least), Clouseau doesn't fall or mess up his clothes -- the Judas goat figure earlier described. The mayhem doesn't stall or disrupt the action, it's just part of it. It's one of the things I admire in slapstick and comedy -- when the people who are being the funniest don't laugh at themselves. I also shouldn't be amused at the exaggerated French accent, but it absolutely cracks me up. One of our standing family jokes comes from this character. When one of us brings somebody else a snack or meal, we do our best Inspector Clouseau saying "reum service" as we enter. And as a take on police comedies, again, I appreciate that Clouseau may seem clueless, but always cracks the case. One of my problems with slapstick is that the protagonists are often trouble-makers, and I'd rather cheer for the Good Guy. 

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The gags themselves have been well-covered. But what I like in the way that they are executed, and in the character himself, is that Clouseau never breaks character -- he remains pompous, dignified, upper-crust in costume and language-- a perfect match to the character that George Sanders is playing (and has perfected in other films). (Here at least), Clouseau doesn't fall or mess up his clothes -- the Judas goat figure earlier described. The mayhem doesn't stall or disrupt the action, it's just part of it. It's one of the things I admire in slapstick and comedy -- when the people who are being the funniest don't laugh at themselves. I also shouldn't be amused at the exaggerated French accent, but it absolutely cracks me up. One of our standing family jokes comes from this character. When one of us brings somebody else a snack or meal, we do our best Inspector Clouseau saying "reum service" as we enter. And as a take on police comedies, again, I appreciate that Clouseau may seem clueless, but always cracks the case. One of my problems with slapstick is that the protagonists are often trouble-makers, and I'd rather cheer for the Good Guy. 

My mom and I are the same way with the exaggerated French accent. We will quote the movie often imitating his accent. One of my kids got a new toy stuffed monkey and my mom said " Do you have a license fer yer Menkey?" My kid gave her the funniest look and all I could do was laugh. He is such a loveable character and you are so right about how he remains in character so well despite all the physical gags. I love the pink panther movies so much and this one is my favorite. 

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The gags themselves have been well-covered. But what I like in the way that they are executed, and in the character himself, is that Clouseau never breaks character -- he remains pompous, dignified, upper-crust in costume and language-- a perfect match to the character that George Sanders is playing (and has perfected in other films). (Here at least), Clouseau doesn't fall or mess up his clothes -- the Judas goat figure earlier described. The mayhem doesn't stall or disrupt the action, it's just part of it. It's one of the things I admire in slapstick and comedy -- when the people who are being the funniest don't laugh at themselves. I also shouldn't be amused at the exaggerated French accent, but it absolutely cracks me up. One of our standing family jokes comes from this character. When one of us brings somebody else a snack or meal, we do our best Inspector Clouseau saying "reum service" as we enter. And as a take on police comedies, again, I appreciate that Clouseau may seem clueless, but always cracks the case. One of my problems with slapstick is that the protagonists are often trouble-makers, and I'd rather cheer for the Good Guy.

Absolutely! For us, two generations now, it has been "booomp"!
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I agree with others who have responded to this topic that the gags have been covered and everyone did a great job. What I think needs to be pointed out is how Peter Sellers embodies a character - he truly becomes the person he is portraying.  Whether it is from the Pink Panther or Dr. Strangelove - you believe he is the character from every nuance that can possibly be done - that then allows a gag - that is being reused become fresh again for the viewer.

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The bit with the pool cues is very funny. Whether he's fracturing the English language with his dysfunctional French or embroiled in physical mayhem, Clouseau is so steadfastly earnest that it underscores the gag. This is not Jerry Lewis bumbling apologetically from one situation to another, this is a man blinded by his own sense of self importance blaming a world that does not accommodate him.

Blake Edwards did more than anyone else in the sixties to revive and revere slapstick tradition in American cinema. He and Sellers created the modern equivalent of the time honored knocking-a-top-hat-off-of-a-pompus-man's-head gag with a great, sustainable character twist; Clouseau himself is the pompous man, and the dignity he's unwittingly skewing is his own.

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The gag that got me was when Sellers turns into the wall. Unlike the bits with the pool cue and the cue rack, you don't really see that one coming and it's almost like a throwaway gag and caps the whole scene.

 

I suspect that the name Inspector Clouseau is meant as a kind of tribute to the great French director Henri-Georges Clouzot who made several suspense/detective films with comedic elements, most notably 'Les Diaboliques' and especially 'The Murderer Lives at Number 21' which is filled with bizarre and rather comic characters which certainly plays some role in inspiring this film.

 

Sellers, who I have heard was a rather empty man when not portraying a character, was always good with imitating and exaggerating accents as he did on radio, in recordings and on the screen. He always used these accents as part of building a character and that is certainly evident with Clouseau and his rather bizarre French accent.

 

I see Sellers combining certain elements of Keaton and Lloyd and extending them. He is mostly stone-faced and somewhat befuddled as Keaton could be and yet he is dressed like and superficially plays an ordinary character well known to film audiences--the police detective -- just as Lloyd played the average man. His portrayals though are more exaggerated and paced for a later time.

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George Sanders was wonderful -- urbane, sophisticated, everything Clouseau was not.  I loved Peter Sellers' comic timing and understated delivery.  Very visual and without the Jerry Lewis screaming that annoys me so much.  The scene also reminded me of Dudley Moore in Arthur, when he knocked a mail holder off a shelf and made a drunken attempt to put it back together, in the end confessing, "This is a goner."  

 

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George Sanders was wonderful -- urbane, sophisticated, everything Clouseau was not.  I loved Peter Sellers' comic timing and understated delivery.  Very visual and without the Jerry Lewis screaming that annoys me so much.  The scene also reminded me of Dudley Moore in Arthur, when he knocked a mail holder off a shelf and made a drunken attempt to put it back together, in the end confessing, "This is a goner."  

 

What a good catch! I, too, loved Lewis as a child, grew to dislike that screaming humor later, but then have grown to appreciate him more later in life all over again. But then to have the insight to bring in Dudley Moore, one of the last--until recently and poorly revived by Russell Brand--to use the classic vaudeville character of "The Drunk" to comic effect as public taste grew tired of seeing what was now taken as a disease made fun of..
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