(director/writer: Blake Edwards; screenwriters: Tom & Frank Waldman; cinematographer: Lucien Ballard; editor: Ralph Winters; music: Henry Mancini; cast: Peter Sellers (Hrundi V. Bakshi), Claudine Longet (Michelle Monet),, Kathe Green (Molly Clutterbuck), Carol Wayne (June Warren), Herb Ellis (Film Director), Marge Champion (Rosalind Dunphy), Helen Kleeb (Secretary), J. Edward McKinley (Fred Clutterbuck), Buddy Lester (Davey Kane), Gavin MacLeod (C. S. Divot), Jean Carson (Nanny), Denny Miller (‘Wyoming Bill’ Kelso); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Blake Edwards; United Artists; 1968)
“A few sight gags go over well and the satire sometimes hits the mark, but much of the film stalls with too many repetition accidents.“
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Blake Edwards (“Peter Gunn”/”A Fine Mess”) helms and co-writes with the Waldman brothers (Frank & Tom) this uneven one-joke venture. The comedy is inspired by Jacques Tati or Buster Keaton or Jerry Lewis. The mishap comedy has a field day over spoofing the fantasy life imagined in Hollywood, starring an off-the-wall Peter Sellers as the innocent foreign house wrecker. A few sight gags go over well and the satire sometimes hits the mark, but much of the film stalls with too many repetition accidents. The title tune is sung by Claudine Longet. The bumbling New Delhi stage actor Hrundi V. Bakshi (Peter Sellers), in heavy brownskin makeup, is recruited by Hollywood to star in a remake of Son of Gunga Din. Accidentally he blows up the location set and is fired by the director (Herb Ellis). The studio head (J. Edward McKinley) wants him blacklisted from films. But his name is left on a special guest party list on his table and the secretary mistakenly mails him an invite. The accident-prone actor turns up as a lost soul at the swank Hollywood party that the boss is hosting in his mansion. The house gets wrecked by Bakshi through a series of unintentional accidents. When the boss’s college student daughter Molly (Kathe Green) arrives with her student friends and a baby elephant painted in psychedelic colors, Bakshi admonishes them for dissing India’s sacred beast and has them wash off the paint in the indoor pool. The house thereby gets filled with soapsuds, requiring the fire department to respond. The boss tries to strangle Bakshi, but he flees with the film’s starlet Michele Monet.
REVIEWED ON 4/1/2019 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/