The eighth in the hit comedy series, Curse of the Pink Panther resembles a set of gems mounted in a tarnished setting. Abetted by screen newcomer Ted Wass’ flair for physical comedy, filmmaker Blake Edwards has created genuinely funny sight gags but the film’s rickety, old-hat story values waste them.
Lensed simultaneously with Trail of the Pink Panther, Curse boasts all-new footage but virtually repeats the prior release’s storyline. Instead of a newshen tracking down the missing Inspector Clouseau, this time Interpol’s Huxley 600 computer (an uppity machine named Aldous) is secretly programmed by Clouseau’s boss (Herbert Lom) to select the world’s worst detective to search for his unwanted employee.
NY cop Clifton Sleigh (Ted Wass) is the bumbling man for the job, simultaneously trying to discover who has stolen (again) the Pink Panther diamond. As with Trail, format has him encountering and interviewing characters from earlier films in the series.
Guest stars David Niven (in his final film appearance), Robert Wagner and Capucine have little to do, while pert British blonde Leslie Ash is briefly impressive as a lethally-kicking martial arts partner for Wass.