Another famous French policeman IV

Continuing with the life and works of the celebrated Inspector Closeau. Lets deal with the third film (it was actually the fourth in the series but the previous one did not feature Peter Sellers so I will disregard it). 

The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) came over ten years after the previous Sellers-starrer (A Shot in the Dark in 1964) but the long wait was worth it. Here is a synopsis of the plot and some dialogues.

The film opens with Clouseau, demoted to a beat cop by Commissioner Dreyfus for bungling, arguing with a blind street minstrel and his chimpanzee, asking if he had a “le sanz” for the “muin-key”. Meanwhile, he is totally unaware of a bank heist going on in the background, and even returns a dropped wad of bills back to the robbers whilst engaged in an argument with the minstrel. He then proceeds to knock out the bank manager who comes running outside wielding a pistol.

However, the government forces Dreyfus to reinstate Clouseau as inspector so that he can go to (the fictional Middle Eastern nation of) Lugash to investigate the theft of the fabled Pink Panther diamond, which has once again been stolen.

Clouseau‘s investigations at the Lugash National Museum, which he nearly destroys, lead him to believe that Sir Charles Lytton (this time played by Christopher Plummer), the notorious Phantom, is re-creating the most infamous heist of his career. A delighted Clouseau sees this as his only chance to get his revenge on Lytton for framing him and temporarily sending him to prison in the first film. Although Clouseau fails to uncover any leads into the theft, several attempts are made on his life by a mysterious assassin.

After staking out, and nearly demolishing, Lytton Manor in Nice, Clouseau is tricked into leaving France. He follows Sir Charles’ wife, Lady Claudine (Catherine Schell) to a resort hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland, where his attempts to investigate her repeatedly fail but his mayhem continues.

Meanwhile, Sir Charles reads about the gem’s theft and realizes that he has been framed. He goes to Lugash to investigate, encountering various underworld figures of old acquaintance and eventually manages to discover the identity of the true thief – (I’m not telling whom) and escapes.

Meanwhile, Clouseau receives a telephone call from Dreyfus telling him to arrest Lady Claudine.

The Lyttons are, meanwhile, cornered by Colonel Sharky (Peter Arne) of the Lugash Secret Police, who intends to kill them both. Just then, Clouseau barges into the room to arrest the couple. Sir Charles points out that Colonel Sharky is going to kill them all, and Clouseau buffoonishly attempts to arrest Sharky. Suddenly, a shot rings out at Closeau but manages to accidentally kill Sharky as the inspector has ducked at the last minute to check his fly. During the fray, the Lyttons escape.

For his work in recovering the Pink Panther, Clouseau is promoted to Chief Inspector, while Dreyfus is committed to a lunatic asylum, where he is straightjacketed and placed inside a rubber room, vowing revenge on Clouseau.

Dreyfus [after the bank robbery]: The beggar was the lookout man for the gang.
Clouseau: That is impossible. How can a blind man be a lookout?
Dreyfus: [Insinuating Clouseau] How can an idiot be a police officer?
Clouseau: Well, all he has to do is enlist…
Dreyfus: Shut up!

Dreyfus: [after Clouseau’s fiasco with the bank robbers] … You are suspended for six months, without pay, effective immediately! Have you anything to say?
Inspector Jacques Clouseau: …Could you lend me fifty francs?

Clouseau [to a Taxi driver]: Follow that car!  [driver gets out of the taxi and follows the car]

Clouseau: Does Lady Lytton have a swimming pewl?
Nice Police Chief: A swimming pewl?

Clouseau: [at Lytton Manor in Nice, while working undercover as a telephone repairman. He has already annihilated the Lyttons’ doorbell!] … I am from the Nice Telephone Company; there is some trouble with your phone.
Mac: …I don’t think there’s any trouble with the telephones here.
Clouseau: I know when there is a trouble, and when there is not a trouble, and you may rest assured that there is a trouble.
Mac: Since when?
Clouseau: Since it was reported.
Mac: By whom? And what sort of trouble is it?
Clouseau: If I knew that, I could simply call you up and tell you what the trouble with your telephone is!
Claudine: Well… Whatever the trouble is, I hope you locate it.
Clouseau: Madame, it is my business to locate trouble…
[He misses the door to the study, crashing headlong into the wall; being Clouseau, he isn’t even fazed]
Clouseau: …Er, no trouble back there!

Dreyfus: [after Clouseau has demolished two trucks and a swimming pool in Nice] Now he’s off to Gstaad. Today, a paradise in the Swiss Alps – tomorrow, a wasteland. [rolls his eyes and lets out a deep breath] Compared to Clouseau, Attila the Hun was a Red Cross volunteer!

Clouseau: [in Dreyfus’ office, after Clouseau’s apartment has been bombed] …. oh I have used this in the series on my favourite dialogues. No sense repeating it here.

Clouseau [having the hotel bellboy spy on Lady Lytton]: How long have you been a bellboy?
Bellboy: Oh, too long, Monsieur.
Clouseau: Keep up the good work, and I shall see to it you become a bellman.

Clouseau [after inadvertently destroying much of the hotel he is in]: I must leave. Zis Hotel is deteriorating rapidly.

Clouseau [to parrot]: Swine bird!

Clouseau: Good Sharkey, Colonel God!

Clouseau: I arrest you, Sir Charles Phantom, the notorious pink Lytton.

Clouseau: [answering the phone] This is Monsieur Gadoire – who is this speaking?
Dreyfus: Don’t you know? HmmHmmm! Can’t you guess? I’ll give you a clue – this is the man who hates you. This is the man who more than anything else in the world would like to see you dead and buried!
Clouseau: …are you the headwaiter that works in the little bistro on the Rue de Bazaar?

To be continued…


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