I grew up on the films of Blake Edwards, who has died at age 88. He is yet another example of a director whose kind we will not see again. Just as wife Julie Andrews was schooled in vaudeville, he possessed a range of skills that few can match today. Most impressively, he knew how to get a laugh from slapstick: the well-timed pratfall, the double take. No one else could have delivered the zany laughs in the best of the long-lived Pink Panther series, A Shot in the Dark. Edwards worked with the brilliant Peter Sellers to create the unforgettable klutz Inspector Clouseau, complete with clotted French accent and killer assistant, Cato, who could pounce on him at any moment, and with composer Henry Mancini, who scored almost all of Edwards’ films.
Edwards also delivered dramas such as Days of Wine and Roses, as well as the delightful confections Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, which helped to forge Audrey Hepburn’s iconic image, The Great Race, Ten, and cross-dressing musical comedy Victor/Victoria, perhaps the best role Edwards ever gave to Andrews, who memorably bared her breasts in the hilarious S.O.B. Edwards also did well by Ellen Barkin in another gender bender comedy, the underappreciated Switch. Check ’em out.
Charlie Rose interview:
A Pink Panther montage: