I know what you’re thinking, how could a comedy titled The Party from the sixties could still be funny? I mean, it probably consists of people going around dancing and saying groovy. And you might be right if we were talking about any other movie but this one. Starring Peter Sellers of his The Pink Panther fame and directed by Blake Edwards, this is a true comedic masterpiece. It’s creative, authentic and features perfect timing. And we all know that timing is incredibly important when it comes to comedy.
Rowan Atkinson and his character Mr. Bean are the closest examples of the type of humor you can expect here. We will be following an accident-prone Indian actor as he finds himself at a lavish party. His inability to engage in designated activities could be viewed as disruptive but also as a supporting structure as it clearly defines the norms. But let’s leave philosophy out of this one and just enjoy the bravery and skill of these filmmakers.
The original script for The Party was only 56 pages long! Edwards and Sellers would go on to improvise the rest of the scenes, escalating the craziness. You can consider it as an experiment in film-making. And damn successful one too! Relying mostly on gags and without any signs of toilet humor, this is one of those comedies you can watch with anyone. And it has great replay value too. I have to admit that during the bathroom scene I literally ended up on the floor rolling and uncontrollably laughing. It is that good.
Hrundi V. Bakshi is a clumsy actor that spreads mayhem everywhere he goes, from movie sets to parties. He has been accidentally invited to an exclusive party and you can be sure that he will get into a lot of trouble.
One of the many things that The Party offers is also a window into the sixties. You can see how people behaved, dressed and what the vibe was. And it was also acceptable for Sellers to do the “brown-face”. Hrundi Bakshi drives quite a strange car, Morgan Sports Model, built from 1932-39, in case you were interested. We all feel like Hrundi sometimes. He’s this honest and well-meaning guy trying to fit in. And this feelgood vibe enveloped the entire movie.
Director: Blake Edwards
Writers: Blake Edwards, Tom Waldman, Frank Waldman
Cast: Peter Sellers, Claudine Longet, Natalia Borisova, Jean Carson, Marge Champion, Al Checco
Fun Stuff: The fort explosion is drawing inspiration from real-life incident that happened during the filming of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Sergio Leone was furious because the cameras were not rolling during the explosion of the bridge.