Film Screening 3rd May, 2003

Poster for The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film

The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film 

8:00 PM, 3rd May, 2003

  • G
  • 9 mins
  • 1959
  • Richard Lester, Peter Sellers
  • Richard Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers
  • Richard Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers

A very slapstick short with no actual plot. It shows off the directing style Lester later used in A Hard Day's Night.

Poster for A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark 

8:10 PM, 3rd May, 2003

  • PG
  • 102 mins
  • 1964
  • Blake Edwards
  • William Peter Blatty, Blake Edwards
  • Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, Herbert Lom, George Sanders

Gasp! There's been a murder! As if that wasn't bad enough, the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Sellers) is sent to investigate. The beautiful Maria Gambrelli (Sommer) is the obvious suspect, but blind love (lust?) convinces Clouseau that she is innocent. With supreme confidence in his (nonexistent) abilities, Clouseau sets out to find the real killer, much to the annoyance of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Lom). And all the better if he can get Maria into bed along the way.

Originally intended as an adaptation of the Harry Kurnitz play 'L'Idiot', it was rewritten by Blatty (The Exorcist) to feature Clouseau. This was the first sequel to The Pink Panther, and, whilst not strictly part of that series, it sets the stage for the later films. It built up Clouseau into the main character, which helped Sellers become well known in America, and introduced the recurring characters of Dreyfus, Hercule, and Cato, not to mention the trademark misunderstandings and absurd situations in which we see Sellers at his best. It was also a chance for Lom to break away from playing bad guys, even upstaging Sellers in several scenes.

David Bromage

Poster for The Party

The Party 

10:00 PM, 3rd May, 2003

  • G
  • 99 mins
  • 1968
  • Blake Edwards
  • Blake Edwards
  • Peter Sellers, Herbert Ellis, J. Edward McKinley, Claudine Longet, Natalia Borisova, Jean Carson

One of India's leading actors, Hrundi V. Bakshi (Sellers), is brought to America for a major motion-picture extravaganza. After destroying the set and being kicked off the project, he is accidentally invited to the social event of the year. At the party, Bakshi manages to attract the interest of aspiring actress Michelle Monet (Longet), but otherwise nothing goes right for him. And it gets worse through the night. A few minor mishaps eventually become mayhem and chaos, turning a nice quiet dinner into the sort of party you only saw in the 60s.

As with other Edwards-Sellers partnerships, the dialogue takes a back seat to the nonstop visual gags. There was no script as such and the action and dialogue were mainly improvised. With this they created a side-splittingly funny film, also taking a poke at the Hollywood establishment. Some of the minor characters are particularly memorable, such as the rebellious children and the increasingly tipsy waiter. The finale may be slightly over the top, but this doesn't detract from one of the funniest films ever made. The costumes may have dated, but the comedy hasn't.

David Bromage