Return of the Pink Panther (The)
R2 - United Kingdom - Fabulous Films
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (4th July 2015).
The Film

***This is an A/V and Extras review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

The world's most hilariously disaster-prone detective is back on the case as Peter Sellers stars in this merry masterpiece of sheer slapstick sleuthing fun!

When the priceless Pink Panther diamond is stolen yet again, the inimitable Inspector Jacques Clouseau is saved from an unwilling early retirement and sent off to the country of Lugash to investigate. Certain the heist is the work of a suave jewel thief known as The Phantom, Clouseau unleashes his formidable array of outlandish disguises and preposterous deductive powers in a madcap pursuit of his would be quarry.

Tracked by his own, nerve-wracking boss, Clouseau carves a path of comical, crime-busting chaos across all of Europe in this delightfully zany comedy romp.

Video

Independent British distributor Fabulous Films have licensed "The Return of the Pink Panther" from Universal. It seems that not only have they licensed the film, but they have simply ported the 2006 release in its entirety (including dubs and subs). This is not a bad thing, as although that release wasn't perfect, it was considerably better than the 2001 release.

Fabulous Films present the feature in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and the transfer is anamorphic. When compared to other studio films of the mid-seventies, it looks fine, if dated and washed out. Lighter colours do suffer from some minor instances of bleeding, but nothing that is particularly prominent. Details are generally good, with items in the foreground distinct and clear. Smaller details on background items are generally distinguishable, but can look a little blocky and clunky. A fine level of natural film grain runs throughout the duration, giving the feature a natural and filmic look, though there are one or two short moments where the grain levels are inconsistent and almost descends into looking slightly noisy. Some nominal edge enhancement and aliasing can be spotted as can some negligible ringing (round the car door at 51:22). A few specks can be seen here and there, but the print itself is relatively clean. Overall, this is a transfer that gets the job done. There are some small issues that never ruin the enjoyment of the film, but this is down to what I assume is the dated master, and with no Blu-ray on the horizon at the time of writing, I'll be surprised if this transfer is bettered any time soon.

The film is uncut and runs 108:19 PAL.

Audio

The following tracks are included:
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
- French Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
- German Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
- Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
- Russian Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
- Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono

For my viewing, I obviously opted for the original language English Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono track and in all honestly there really isn't too much to say about it. Although the track overall does sound a little flat, there are some scenes which are surprisingly full of depth for a mono track, with the hoover scene in the seventieth minute especially noteworthy. Dialogue is clean throughout and is only mumbled when part of the joke surrounding Clouseau's accent requires it. Henry Mancini's score is well utilised and never overpowers the dialogue. Whilst an upmix may have been a nice addition, I'm glad Fabulous have stuck with the original track. There are no drop outs, scratches, or pops, and I noticed no signs of background hiss. Audio options cannot be changed via remote.

Optional subtitles are available in Czech, Danish, Dutch, English HoH, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.

Extras

Unfortunately there are no extras to be found.

Overall

The Film: B Video: C+ Audio: B- Extras: F Overall: B-

 


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