|Blake Edwards Retrospective
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In a career that has spanned over fifty years as a writer, producer and
director, Blake Edwards has provided audiences with classics in nearly every genre
of the cinema. Though known primarily for comedies such as THE PARTY and the PINK
PANTHER series, Edwards has exhibited mastery of the domestic melodrama (the beautiful
and tragic DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES), the thriller (EXPERIMENT IN TERROR) and
the musical (the criminally underrated DARLING LILI). In the best tradition of
studio-era auteurs like Howard Hawks, Edwards has managed to inject distinctly personal
ideas and styles into popular forms; regardless of genre, all of his films share a
profound interest in close relationships (between friends, lovers or colleagues) and their
pitfalls. No director is more finely attuned to the wide spectrum of emotions that
characterize the human experience, and his best films -- films like BREAKFAST AT
TIFFANY'S, VICTOR/VICTORIA and S.O.B. -- veer from humiliation and anxiety to
giddy romance and celebration all within the space of a couple of hours.
We will be celebrating Blake Edwards 86th Birthday with the screening of THE GREAT
RACE on July 26th!
Thursday, July 10 7:30 PM
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS, 1961,
Paramount, 115 min. "I've got to do something about the way I look. I mean a girl
just can't go to Sing Sing with a green fac." So sighs Audrey
Hepburns girl-about-town Holly Golightly, breezing ever-so-gently through the
real world with hardly a ripple. But when she meets sober, handsome, nice guy George
Peppard, she begins to gradually re-think her anything-goes, high-living life style.
Adapted from Truman Capotes best-selling romance by director Blake Edwards (THE PINK
PANTHER, THE PARTY) and writer George Axelrod, and featuring what is arguably Henry
Mancinis greatest score, highlighted by the lovely, bittersweet "Moon
River." With Mickey Rooney.
Friday, July 11 7:30 PM
THE PINK PANTHER, 1964, MGM Repertory, 113 min.
Director-writer Blake Edwards introduced one of the most beloved characters in
modern cinema Peter Sellers absolutely clueless Inspector Jacques
Clouseau with this effervescent, champagne-colored comedy about a notorious British
jewel thief and playboy (David Niven) on a ski holiday with nephew Robert Wagner,
mistress Capucine, exotic princess Claudia Cardinale and a priceless diamond
in tow. With music by the great Henry Mancini.
THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER, 1975, MGM
Repertory, 113 min. Dir. Blake Edwards. After a ten year hiatus, Peter Sellers
and Edwards re-teamed for what many consider the flat-out funniest film in the series.
When the famed Pink Panther diamond of Lugash disappears again, Inspector Clouseau is
called in to investigate the supposedly retired jewel thief (wonderfully suave Christopher
Plummer) whos suspected of taking it. Remember the immortal line: "I arrest
you, Sir Charles Phantom, the notorious pink Lytton!" With Catherine Schell,
Saturday, July 12 7:30 PM
THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, 1976, MGM
Repertory, 103 min. Dir. Blake Edwards. Clouseau is promoted to Chief Inspector
when his arch-nemesis Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) suffers a nervous breakdown. But
beware: When Dreyfus gets his hand on a Disappearing Ray Machine, only Clouseau can save
the world from destruction (if he doesnt destroy it first himself
REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER, 1978, MGM
Repertory, 99 min. Dir. Blake Edwards. Peter Sellers last completed
film as Clouseau shows him in fine form, as hes targeted for assassination by a drug
lord. When news of Clouseaus "death" reaches the insane Chief Inspector
Dreyfus he makes a remarkable recovery but dont count the indestructible
Clouseau out just yet
! With Dyan Cannon, Burt Kwouk.
Sunday, July 13 7:30 PM
Blake Edwards/Julie Andrews Double Feature:
VICTOR VICTORIA, 1982, Warner Bros., 132 min.
Dir. Blake Edwards. This seven-time Oscar-nominated musical took home the statuette
for Best Original Song Score. Its the 1930s in Paris, and singer Victoria Grant (Julie
Andrews) finds herself struggling to make ends meet. In a moment of self-preservation,
Victoria agrees to pose as a man impersonating a woman, taking on her friend and
co-conspirator Toddy (Robert Preston) as her gay lover. But this perfect plan only
goes so far when super-straight Chicago gangster (James Garner) senses something is
amiss when he starts falling for "Victor." Co-starring Lesley Ann Warren.
DARLING LILI, 1970, Paramount, 107 min. Dir. Blake
Edwards. German spy Julie Andrews manipulates British pilot Rock Hudson
to extract military secrets from him in this complex, ambiguous love story masquerading as
a frothy musical. Under-appreciated at the time of its release, this impeccably directed
and morally sophisticated spectacle now can be valued for what it is: one of Edwards
most entertaining and accomplished films.
Wednesday, July 16 7:30 PM
S.O.B., 1981, Warner Bros., 122 min. Dir. Blake Edwards.
When director Richard Mulligan's expensive musical turns out to be a flop, he
decides to recut it as an erotic epic that will exploit the squeaky-clean image of star Julie
Andrews. This hilarious and trenchant satire has echoes of Edwards' own experiences
making DARLING LILI, but its comedy reaches beyond mere score-settling to present a
mercilessly funny -- and at times surprisingly sweet poison-pen love letter to the
American cinema. The great supporting cast includes William Holden, Robert Webber,
Robert Vaughn, Larry Hagman (J.R. of "Dallas") and a very young Rosanna
THE PARTY, 1968, MGM Repertory, 99 min. Dir. Blake
Edwards. For most of its length, THE PARTY is a wonderfully restrained homage to
Jacques Tati, with Peter Sellers in perfect pitch as an awestruck Indian actor who
disrupts a chic Hollywood gathering with the help of French songbird Claudine Longet and
an elephant. The final 15 minutes prove that any great joke deserves a totally outrageous
punchline. Look for Steve Franken as an inebriated waiter and Denny Miller
as a hilarious rhinestone cowboy. Cinematography by the great Lucien Ballard (THE WILD
BUNCH). Film critic Kevin Thomas will introduce the screening.
Thursday, July 17 7:30 PM
DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, 1962, Warner Bros. 117
min. Dir. Blake Edwards. This tragic love story might come as a surprise to fans of
director Edwards PINK PANTHER series and other comic masterpieces, but in its own
way it may be one of his best films. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick play a
superficially perfect couple whose lives are shattered by alcoholism, and Edwards
typical affection for his characters allows him to bring out both the romantic and the
heartbreaking elements of their tragic story.
EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, 1962, Sony
Repertory, 123 min. Lee Remick is a bank teller whose teenage sister (Stephanie
Powers) is kidnapped by Ross Martin, a creepy, sociopathic crook brewing an
extortion plot. Glenn Ford is the no-nonsense FBI agent who steps in to help.
Director Blake Edwards skill at creating nail-biting suspense presaged his
later seemingly contradictory focus on effervescent comedy. Frequent Edwards collaborator
Henry Mancini graces us with his most memorable (and sinister) score.
Saturday, July 26 3:00 PM
Family Matinee Festival: Happy Birthday, Mr. Edwards!
THE GREAT RACE, 1965, Warner Bros. 152 min. Dir. Blake
Edwards. White-suited Tony Curtis foils the schemes of villainous Professor
Fate (Jack Lemmon), while wooing reporter Natalie Wood on a New
York-to-Paris road race (the very concept indicates the film's zaniness!) in 1908.
Edwards' love letter to the films of Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel & Hardy is a nonstop
comic chase with humor that's easily accessible to adults and children alike. Join us at 2 PM at Every Picture Tells A Story for a free story hour
and refreshments. See More Family Matinees!