Thursday, December 16, 2010
Blake Edwards: A Hollywood Party, and A Nameless Cat
Blake Edwards, a reliable director of comedies and romantic dramas in the 1960's and '70's, died today. Although I never considered Edwards a first-tier filmmaker, nonetheless he directed two films that I consider all-time favorites, guilty pleasures that have made me happy over the years.
Sellers plays Mr. Bakshi, a hapless movie extra from India, who innocently destroys a set for a film about Gunga Din. Polite to a fault and trying his utmost to fit in, he is inadvertently invited to a Hollywood bash, where he bumbles and makes a shambles of everything he touches. This movie does anything for a laugh, and mostly succeeds. There's the pomposity of the Hollywood elite brought low by Bakshi's clumsiness; there's an unruly Cornish hen, a starlet's tiara and a loose wig; a drunken waiter; a plumbing mishap; a peeing fountain; a baby elephant with psychedelic paint; and a love song from Caludine Longet. For starters.