Posted by: gdevi | December 16, 2010

Obituary: Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

They were one of a kind combination–Peter Sellers, Henry Mancini and Blake Edwards. Movie-lovers lost a great comic when Peter Sellers died in 1980 and a great composer, comic and otherwise when Mancini died in 1994 and today is a sad day as we learn of Blake Edward’s death. I pretty much grew up on the Pink Panther movies and the Tintin comic series. (I think of them together always.) My brother and I used to mimic Inspector Clouseau’s many strange dialogs in that unique accent. “Ah, parallel bars, my specialty!  It’s all coming back to me now! You know, I used to be known as the Pavlova of the parallels!”  Edwards let Sellers do his thing in the Pink Panther movies and we used to be in splits at the sheer physical comedy of the man–his standing instructions to Cato to attack him “unsuspectingly,” his disguises, his love scenes–all slap-stick and sight-gags, but with perfect timing and never a dull moment; the consistency of the script is memorable in these comedies. Even the risque sexual humor of these movies was genuinely funny without being smutty or vulgar. It is a fine line. Only Edwards and Sellers can take someone as sensuous and knock-out beautiful like Lesley Ann Down (Olga the Russian assassin) and make a stripping Sellers the center of the scene! (Pink Panther Strikes Again is probably my favorite of the series.) Though we remember Edwards primarily for his wackismus with the Pink Panther series Edwards also made wonderfully advanced movies for the times like Victor-Victoria and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. A wonderful director who has left his classic mark behind! Thank you for the wonderful movies and Rest in Peace Blake Edwards!

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