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Henry ManciniReinventing Film Music$
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John Caps

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036736

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036736.001.0001

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The Curse of the Pink Panther

The Curse of the Pink Panther

(p.163) Chapter 11 The Curse of the Pink Panther
Henry Mancini

John Caps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes how one chance meeting on the beach with Blake Edwards brought about a sea change in his career and, as a direct result, a return to the famous world of the Pink Panther. Return of the Pink Panther was planned for distribution in 1975, and the public was so very ready to be amused all over again by the Sellers/Clouseau character that the success of that sequel was followed the very next year by The Pink Panther Strikes Again. For Mancini, the task of scoring a Pink Panther movie had changed, too—the first film scored with that sly, sneaking sax theme and a lot of beguiling, equally sly cocktail music; the second film scored a bit more like a cartoon where the clever, plodding, main mystery theme on that wavering pump organ represented Clouseau's dysfunctional focus on the case at hand. Now with large-scale visual jokes taking up more screen space than the character comedy of Clouseau, the scoring needed to serve two masters: it needed scene-setting background tunes for clubs, discos, and resorts, and, more than ever, it needed bigger descriptive music to bolster the increasingly unrealistic and aggressive plot devices.

Keywords:   Henry Mancini, composers, film scoring, musical score, Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Blake Edwards, comedy scoring

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