“There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them.”
Kritzerland is proud to offer a limited edition soundtrack release:
Music Composed and Conducted by Ken Thorne
Inspector Clouseau was the third film to feature the intrepid and inept character created by Blake Edwards and brought to memorable life by Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther. A year later, the two re-teamed with A Shot In The Dark, where the focus was completely on Clouseau – the result was a comedy classic and a huge hit. And then the Inspector disappeared until 1968, when he returned to the screen in Inspector Clouseau. Audiences, however, were as confused and confounded as Clouseau because instead of Peter Sellers they found a new actor was portraying the role – the gifted Alan Arkin, who’d already been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, and would, the same year as Clouseau, be nominated again for The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. But the film disappeared quickly because audiences just didn’t want a Clouseau film without Sellers.
The film was directed by Bud Yorkin, who’d just had a big hit with Divorce, American Style, and who, with partner Norman Lear, was about to unleash a TV program that would change the face of sitcoms forever – All In The Family. Arkin is actually quite amusing as Clouseau, and the film has lovely location photography and is better than its reputation. In fact, until recently, this film was the bastard child of the Pink Panther series – that was put right in 2008 when the film was included in the Ultimate Pink Panther DVD set.
Henry Mancini had done Panther and A Shot In The Dark, but he, too, was in absentia for Inspector Clouseau, most likely out of loyalty to Edwards (Edwards and Sellers had declined to take part in Clouseau as they were working on The Party, and Mirisch didn’t want to wait), and because he was also working on The Party. The scoring assignment fell to Ken Thorne, who’d just come off working with Richard Lester on several films, including The Beatles’ Help, How I Won The War, and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (writing incidental music and adapting the Stephen Sondheim score and winning an Oscar in the bargain). He would go on to score many other Lester films including Superman II and III, Royal Flash, and Juggernaut, as well as a whole slew of others, like Head, Arabian Adventure, The House Where Evil Dwells, Hannie Caulder, and Lassiter. Thorne’s score is quite wonderful. It opens with an incredibly catchy main theme and that theme occurs throughout the film, along with several other catchy themes, including a couple of Bond-like cues and a ravishingly beautiful love theme. Given his work on the Beatles film, there’s even a Beatles-like song, “Why Don’t You Go?” Comedy scoring is surprisingly difficult to pull off, and it’s eluded many composers, but Thorne, like Mancini, gets it just right.
This world premiere CD release features the LP program, which is basically the score as used in the film. The CD has been mastered from the original album masters and sounds fantastic. Cover art by the great Jack Davis.
This release is limited to 1000 copies only. The price is $19.98 plus shipping. The first one hundred copies ordered at Kritzerland will be signed by Ken Thorne.
CDs will ship by the second week of December – however, preorders placed directly through Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks earlier (we’ve been averaging four weeks early).