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Film / The Pink Panther Strikes Again

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The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) is the fifth film in The Pink Panther franchise, once again directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers as (now-Chief Inspector) Clouseau.

Three years after the events of The Return of the Pink Panthernote , Former Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) is seemingly cured, but after meeting up with Clouseau prior to his release from the psychiatric hospital, the therapy is undone. Dreyfus escapes and organizes a criminal gang that kidnaps nuclear physicist Hugo Fassbender (Richard Vernon) and his daughter Margo (Briony McRoberts). Forcing the former to build a Disintegrator Ray, Dreyfus threatens to unleash it on the world unless Clouseau is killed, and many countries immediately send assassins after Clouseau as he sets out to stop Dreyfus himself.


This film provides examples of:

  • Activation Sequence: A villainous version, with Dreyfus' Disintegrator Ray taking a long time to activate before being used in an attempt to destroy England.
  • Actor Allusion: Dreyfus' organ playing and cape within the film is a nod to the fact Herbert Lom had starred in The Phantom of the Opera (1962).
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The novelization of the movie (by screenplay co-writer Frank Waldman) features a totally different and relatively bizarre ending where both Dreyfus and Professor Fassbender are disintegrated by the Doomsday Machine. The final chapter reveals that they have rematerialized in the distant future in a lonely part of space known as the Ultimate Galaxy of the Dimension Quattro (where everything they've disintegrated, including the United Nations Building and the front half of a dog named Shlep, has ended up). Facing an eternity together as the sole inhabitants of this empty plane of existence, Dreyfus and Fassbender have become friends.
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  • Animated Credits Opening: Produced by Richard Williams' Studio. Can be seen here along with the Creative Closing Credits.
  • Artifact Title: The Pink Panther diamond plays no part in the film's plot.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Going by the way that Clouseau accidentally shot a man in the ass by knocking one over and making it go off, Professor Fassbender stores his hunting rifles loaded and unsafed.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Dreyfus may have reflected the doomsday LASER off of a satellitenote , because otherwise, the LASER beam fired from Germany would have to be pointed through the Earth to reach the United Nations Building in New York City. This issue is never explained in the film, but this is a comedy after all. Targeting the LASER on England may be more plausible.
  • Armed Legs: One of the killers uses a shoe knife.
  • Balloonacy: Clouseau is floated out of his apartment window by the inflatable hump in his hunchback costume, thereby causing him to miss the bomb Dreyfus sets off.
  • Bathroom Break-Out: Dreyfus orchestrates the escape of a prisoner being transported by train. He goes to the bathroom, then climbs out through the ventilator on to the roof of the train and into a waiting helicopter.
  • The Cameo:
    • Omar Sharif plays the Egyptian assassin whom the Russian one mistakes for Clouseau on their initial meeting; he beds her, and she falls in love and chooses not to kill him, which is extremely confusing for the real Clouseau later.
    • There's also a musical cameo: the (intentionally) awful singing voice sported by drag queen Jarvis is supplied by Julie Andrews via dubbing.
  • Captain Obvious:
    François: What kind of bomb was it?
    Clouseau: The exploding kind.
  • Carnival of Killers: The world's greatest assassins descend on Munich in attempt to kill Clouseau and end up wiping each other out. (Coincidentally, given this trope's name, the sequence in question takes place at an Oktoberfest celebration.)
  • Catapult to Glory: Clouseau is inadvertently lofted through a castle window by a catapult.
  • Darker and Edgier: It could be the second darkest film in the franchise, though it's more of a Black Comedy.
  • Disintegrator Ray: The device created by Professor Fassbender (and used by former Chief inspector Dreyfus as a weapon of mass destruction).
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Dreyfus attempts to destroy an entire country because he was lied to about Clouseau's assassination. The country that falsely claimed to kill Clouseau is Egypt. The country Dreyfus decides to punish is England.
    • Well, he did say "they all betrayed me" and his demand to have Clouseau killed was directed at the entire world, so...
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Dreyfus hijacks every TV signal in order to announce his death warrant for Clouseau. Problem: Nobody knows what he's talking about and are more concerned that he interrupted the big football game.
    President Ford: Call the FBI. Call the CIA. Call the Pentagon! Find out who won the game!
  • Exact Words:
    Closeau: Does your dog bite?
    Hotel Clerk: No.
    Closeau: <petpetpet> Nice doggie!
    Dog: OMNOMNOM!
    Closeau: I thought you said your dog did not bite!
    Hotel Clerk: That is not my dog.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dreyfus' fate. As he tries to destroy England with his laser, Clouseau accidentally knocks it around at the crucial moment - it malfunctions and zaps Dreyfus instead.
  • Instrument of Murder: A clarinet blowgun.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: During Kato's surprise attack on Clouseau, Kato displays impressive ability wielding a staff and Clouseau shows off his elite skill with a pair of nunchucks before they start using them to fight.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: When Inspector Clouseau goes to Munich, the yearly Oktoberfest festival is going on. During the celebration, the world's greatest assassins compete to kill him.
  • Madness Mantra: Dreyfus' "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better!"
  • Murphy's Bed: it's the basis for the final non-animated gag.
  • Nails on a Blackboard: Used as a literal torture method.
  • Naked in Mink: Olga Beriosova (Lesley-Anne Down) seduces Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) in a scene that is beyond words.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The U.S. President and Secretary of State are obvious parodies of Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger.
  • Oktoberfest: The hilarious scene where Clouseau goes to the Munich Oktoberfest and several dozen assassins from around the world accidentally kill each other while trying to kill him.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Former Chief Inspector Dreyfus plays a version of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" instead of the usual Bach Toccata.
  • Pretty in Mink: Would-be assassin Olga wears a full-length coat and hat.
  • Rake Take: While talking with Clouseau in the prologue, Dreyfus steps on one, causing him to fall over in the water... again.
  • Reference Overdosed: The opening titles include parodies of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Batman, King Kong, The Sound of Music, Dracula, Singin' in the Rain, Steamboat Bill, Jr., and Sweet Charity.
  • Running Gag: The amount of times Dreyfus is knocked into the pond at the beginning.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: A stage version was created for regional/amateur theaters in 1981. It's a Pragmatic Adaptation that, among other things, gives the Girl of the Week more characterization, has its own "Pink Panthers" (stagehands who sometimes interfere with the plot), and completely rethinks the climax: the disintegrator ray has a self-destruct mechanism built in that the professor activates. Dreyfus is ready to go down with it, but Clouseau's morals and sense of honor mean he's ready to Save the Bad Guy...or go down with him. The prospect of going into eternity with Clouseau is terrifying enough for Dreyfus that he allows himself to be saved and taken into custody.
  • Sex–Face Turn: The same effect is achieved not by the antagonistic woman actually seducing the hero, but by having her sleep with someone she thought was him when it was in fact another member of the same multi-national Carnival of Killers as her. This leaves the hero very confused when she suddenly appears naked in his bed professing her undying love for him.
  • Shout-Out: The movie has this in spades, eight of which are in the opening credits alone.
  • Siege Engines: Inspector Clouseau is accidentally propelled up and through a castle window by a catapult.
  • Take Over the World: Dreyfus' ostensible goal in creating the doomsday device, but the true reason is simply to get Clouseau killed.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Former Chief Inspector Dreyfus gets a bad toothache and sends for a dentist. Clouseau pretends to be the dentist and performs dental malpractice on Dreyfus.
    Dreyfus: He has pulled the wrong tooth! There's only one man who would pull the wrong tooth. It's Clouseau! Kill him! Kill him!
  • Torpedo Tits: One of the killers attacks Clouseau with spikes emerging from her dress. She meets her end when she pins them to a table.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: At the Oktoberfest, Clouseau wanders aimlessly through the festival while dozens of assassins end up killing each other while trying to kill him. The easiest incident to describe was when he entered the center stall at a restroom, while two gunmen entered the other two. Clouseau bends over to pick up a dropped roll of toilet paper at the moment the assassins fire, resulting in a Mutual Kill.


Example of: