Blake Edwards made a lot of movies and a lot of those are great movies. The Pink Panther, series, for instance. Dyan Cannon breathed new life into it when she did 1978's Revenge of the Pink Panther. But that said, none of the other seventies Panther films hold up. They really didn't in real time but, hell, we'd all get baked and go see them so they seemed funnier than they were. The best of the series, to me, is A Shot In The Dark from the sixties which is flat out funny. After that I'd say The Pink Panther (also the sixties) and then Revenge of the Pink Panther. Those are the three classics. The others are funny little movies but not in the same league.
10 was a huge hit and everyone loved it. Except me. That film bored the hell out of me. I walked out on it twice at the movies and have never been able to watch it on TV all the way through. Though goodness knows I've tried, I'm always too bored and can't take that film.
For me, S.O.B. was an instant classic. And I'd rank it with the three Pink Panther films and with another favorite of mine, The Great Race with Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Vivian Vance and a host of other people. It's a basic film, yes, but it's so stylish and so funny. Ahead of that is where I'd put What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?
His two classics films, my opinion, are Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn in the role Marilyn Monroe wanted (and Truman Capote supposedly wanted her for the role as well -- and Steve McQueen for the next-door giggalo). It's a classic film and there's probably few finer moments of cinema than a reflective Audrey strumming and singing "Moon River." And who's not crying at the end when she's in the cab, in the rain and gets out to look for the cat she got rid of? Martin Balsam is really good in that film as her agent. I don't think he ever got enough credit for what he does in that film.
And the other classic?
Victor/Victoria. This is a film classic. One that holds up, true. But I can remember when it came out. Tootsie came out the same year and both films gave a number of people the heebie jeebies. (Both were also huge hits commercially and critically.) In Tootsie, of course, Dustin Hoffman plays Dorothy Michaels -- actually he plays Michael Dorsey who becomes Dorothy Michaels when no one will hire him. In Victor/Victoria, Julie Andrews plays the singer who poses as a man posing as a woman.
And both of those films say more about social mores and gender than any dramas ever could.
They're both classics (Sydney Pollack directed Tootsie).
Julia Andrews is so right for her role and so great in it. And James Garner was inspiration casting because that role -- her love interest -- needs to be someone who makes you feel good just by being on screen. He was perfect. Leslie Ann Warren was amazing. Robert Preston as well. In fact, there's not one bad performance in that film and there's not one false note. I know Breakfast at Tiffany's is a classsic and it should be. But I really think Victor/Victoria beats it.
Even his misfires had their moments (like Ellen Barken's Switch). I will miss his artistic touch.
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"