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Party, The (Mirisch 1968, Peter Sellers, Claudine Longet)

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After the success of the Pink Panther films, Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers reunited for The Party, an enjoyable piece of froth that saw Sellers adopt the bumbling-but-well-meaning persona he had perfected on stage, television and screen, particularly in The Millionairess. Sellers plays Hrundi V Bakshi, an Indian actor whose big moment comes in a Hollywood-financed epic when he blows up the fort. Unfortunately, before the cameras start rolling.

Studio head J Edward McKinley vows he’ll never work again but Bakshi’s name is accidentally left on the invite list for a grand party he’s giving. Turning up, hoping to appease McKinley, Bakshi succumbs to the lure of the free alcohol and before long he has innocently turned the evening into a shambles.

Sellers’ use of the Indian persona is never used to ridicule but rather to act as the innocent, uncomprehending mirror of the mysteries and mores of western society, but at the same time, through both language and set pieces that hark back to the silent era, succeeds in turning in a masterclass in comedy.

production details
USA | The Mirisch Corporation | 99 minutes | 1968

Director: Blake Edwards
Script: Blake Edwards, Tom Waldman, Frank Waldman,

cast
Marge Champion as Rosalind Dunphy
Steve Franken as Levinson
Al Checco as Bernard Stein
Dick Crockett as Wells
Peter Sellers as Hrundi V. Bakshi
Claudine Longet as Michele Monet
Natalia Borisova as Ballerina
Jean Carson as Nanny
Corinne Cole as Janice Kane
Frances Davis as Maid
Danielle De Metz as Stella D’Angelo
Herb Ellis as Director
Paul Ferrara as Ronnie Smith
Kathe Green as Molly Clutterbuck
Allen Jung as Cook
Sharron Kimberly as Princess Helena
James Lanphier as Harry
Buddy Lester as Davey Kane
Stephen Liss as Geoffrey Clutterbuck
Gavin MacLeod as C. S. Divot
Jerry Martin as Bradford
Fay McKenzie as Alice Clutterbuck
J. Edward McKinley as Fred Clutterbuck
Denny Miller as ‘Wyoming Bill’ Kelso