For those who recall that there was a late sequel to "The Pink Panther" series called "Son of the Pink Panther," but remember little else about the film, or the star, here comes a second chance.
MGM Home Entertainment is releasing the video of "Son of the Pink Panther" on Tuesday, and to the surprise of many, the star of the film is this year's Oscar winner for best actor, Roberto Benigni.
The comedy also stars Herbert Lom as Commissioner Dreyfus and Burt Kwouk as the faithful manservant Cato. Both starred in the original "Pink Panther" in 1964 when Peter Sellers was the incomparable Inspector Jacques Clouseau. Blake Edwards directed that film and its sequels. In 1993, 29 years after the original, he came up with "The Son" and Benigni.
The film got little praise, mostly because Sellers, the Clouseau fans loved, was not there. He died in 1980. Critics did note that Benigni's enthusiasm as Jacques Clouseau Jr. helped the movie.
Watching the video today can be a more enjoyable experience, right from the opening animation-action credits featuring Bobby McFerrin's rendition of Henry Mancini's joyful "Pink Panther" theme.
To refresh your memory: Gendarme Jacques Gambrelli has been assigned to Commissioner Dreyfus to help him rescue a kidnapped princess, Debrah Farentino.
When Dreyfus develops an eye twitch, he suspects a relationship between his new assistant and Clouseau, who always brought on that affliction. He discovers that the new man is the illegitimate son of Inspector Clouseau.
Bolstered by a new name and new rank, Clouseau Jr. takes over the case of the princess and -- what else? -- wreaks havoc every step of the way.
"Son of the Pink Panther" is part of MGM's 75th anniversary promotion and is listed for $14.95.
There is an eye-filling journey to be taken by watching the three-volume Goldhil Home Media set of "The World's Most Exotic Islands." Model Hunter Reno guides viewers through spectacular places and introduces gracious people, interesting cultures and fascinating island histories from the Caribbean, the South Pacific and Europe.
Volume One: "Islands of the Caribbean" visits Belize, St. Kitts and Aruba; Volume Two: "Fascinating Islands of Europe" makes stops at Iceland, Spain's Canary Islands, Sweden's Gotland and the Azores of Portugal; Volume Three: "The Fascinating Islands of The South Pacific" covers Fiji, Western Samoa and Nusa Tenggara. Each volume runs 85 minutes. The set lists at $39.95 and can be ordered at 1-800-250-8760.
CAPTION: Roberto Benigni as Jacques Clouseau Jr. in "Son of the Pink Panther."
CAPTION: Robin Williams: "Patch Adams."