Friday, December 17, 2010

Blake Edwards R.I.P.

Blake Edwards died yesterday at 88. Edwards is most famous for directing The Pink Panther franchise and Breakfast at Tiffany's, but his career was long, interesting, and full of worthy detours. He made some pieces of junk, too, like any prolific director in the Hollywood system.
Three excellent, underrated Blake Edwards movies:
The Party (1968) Edwards' homage to French comic genius Jacques Tati, The Party stars Peter Sellers as an Indian man working as an extra who is mistakenly invited to a Hollywood party after a clerical error.
10 (1979) Dudley Moore was a great pianist, a great filthy comedy partner to Peter Cook (as Derek and Clive), and a great comedic actor in his own right. This visually elegant comedy was a big hit at the time but doesn't get seen enough now. See it and mourn a time when mainstream Hollywood directors knew how to make a movie with timing and visual coherence.
The Tamarind Seed (1974) An unfairly obscure, quietly lyrical espionage thriller starring Edwards' wife, Julie Andrews, and Omar Sharif. Edwards wasn't just good (and occasionally bad) at comedy.

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