A patchwork of out-takes, reprised clips and new connective footage, Trail of the Pink Panther is a thin, peculiar picture unsupported by the number of laughs one is accustomed to in this series. Stitched together after Peter Sellers’ death, this is by a long way the slightest of the six Inspector Clouseau efforts.
Story’s structure is strange, to say the least. The fabulous Pink Panther gem is stolen yet again from its vulnerable resting place in an Arab museum, which sparks immediate interest from the haplessly effective French detective.
Opening two reels are devoted to supposed out-take footage of Sellers trying on a disguise and on attempting to relieve himself in an airplane lavatory despite the encumbrance of an ungainly cast.
After about 40 minutes, Clouseau’s Lugash-bound plane is reported missing. French television reporter Joanna Lumley sets out to interview many of those who had known the inspector in earlier pics, including David Niven, Capucine (looking great), Burt Kwouk, Graham Stark and Andre Maranne, as well as his father, Richard Mulligan, and a Mafia kingpin, Robert Loggia.