The Party (1968)

“If you’ve ever been to a wilder party – YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!” Directed by Blake Edwards, this hilarious, heavily improvised slapstick comedy should be required viewing for anyone who doubts the comic genius of Peter Sellers. If you are a fan of Sellers as “Inspector Clouseau” in the Pink Panther films (also directed by Edwards), you will most likely enjoy him as “Hrundi V. Bakshi,” a naïve, bumbling Indian actor who proceeds to wreak some major havoc after accidentally getting invited to a swank Hollywood party. Highlights include the Gunga Din parody that opens the film where Bakshi refuses to die, Bakshi losing his shoe, “Birdie Num Num,” Bakshi fooling around with the board that controls all the gadgets throughout the house, Bakshi sticking his hand into the bowl of caviar, the entire dinner scene and Bakshi trashing the upstairs bathroom. The stellar cast includes Claudine Longet as aspiring actress “Michele Monet,” J. Edward McKinley as studio head “Fred Clutterbuck,” Steve Franken as drunken waiter “Levinson,” Denny Miller as boisterous actor “Wyoming Bill Kelso,” Marge Champion as “Rosalind Dunphy” and Gavin McLeod as sleazy producer “C.S. Divot.” The Party was the only collaboration between Sellers and Edwards outside of the Pink Panther films.

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