When looking back at films you didn’t see first time around, it’s fair to say that some age better than others. A case in point is The Party. A film released in 1968 by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers. Sellers, a legendary comic actor who had lost his way after starting to believe his own hype, ‘browned-up’ to play an Indian character. Whilst it’s abhorrent and difficult to stomach today, back in the ‘60s it was perfectly acceptable to the majority of (mostly white) American and European populations. If you can get passed that, and his dubious accent, then The Party is a frenetic experimental comedy which has a certain brilliant craziness about it.
Hrundi V. Bakshi (Sellers), an unknown Indian actor, is sacked from the set after a number of bungles and catastrophes. The director (Herb Ellis) calls the studio head (J.Edward McKinley) to demand that he’s blacklisted. A breakdown in communication results in Bakshi being invited to an exclusive dinner party at the mogul’s mansion. With the assistance of a drunk waiter (Steve Franken), Bakshi manages to wreak havoc all through the house whilst charming an aspiring young actress (Claudine Longet).
If you can put the elephant in the room to one side, The Party is a rather forward-thinking masterclass in physical comedy by Peter Sellers. He plays the part with surprising nuance and subtlety, and to be fair, never plays-up on the racial aspect. Edwards and Sellers, who worked together on the Pink Panther movies, combine the use of scripted and improvisation to create a lively breakneck comedy. The Party is a whirlwind of a physical humour and clever gags.
- Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray
- Original stereo PCM soundtrack
- Optional English SDH subtitles
- The Party Revolution (16 mins) – a video piece on the groundbreaking filming methods used in the films production
- Inside The Party (24 mins) – A behind the scenes look at the making of the film
- Blake Edwards profile
- Walter Mirisch Profile
- Ken Wales Profile
- Original theatrical trailer
The Party is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment on 16 October.