Director Blake Edwards and actor Peter Sellers made a few comedy gems together most notably the Pink Panther series but here they produce a take on the silent comedies of years before with The Party, an uneven but at times hilarious story about a disaster-prone actor from India, who is at first thrown off the set by the producer of a film then mistakenly invited to his posh Hollywood party.
That’s the simple set up and the majority of the film sees Sellers try his best to get along and join in but with more and more disastrous results. His character is sweet natured and really tries to fit in and the comedy is improvised and experimental, sometimes successfully sometimes not.
While Sellers in Indian make up may shock some viewers of today, you really do forget it and just go with the flow of the bumbling guest as things go from bad to worse. Not a solid classic but some great moments of 1960’s nostalgia.
The Blu Ray, released by Eureka has a very good transfer, very colourful and bright although a few grainy scenes are evident throughout. Audio is a new 5.1 remix or original 2 channel mono, both sound fine but the mono has a more balanced feel.
Some interesting extras include :
- The Party Revolution (16 mins) – a featurette on the groundbreaking filming methods utilised in the film’s production including the first use and development of video playback.
- Inside The Party (24 mins) – A behind the scenes featurette on the making of the film
- Blake Edwards Profile
- Walter Mirisch Profile
- Ken Wales Profile
- Original theatrical trailer
While not in the same funny class as his best Pink Panther films its certainly worth a look for a great performance by Peter Sellers and a good supporting cast. “Birdy Num Num!”
FILM: 7 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 7