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Mr. Cool – Blake Edwards

When the news of Blake Edwards’ passing at age 88 broke earlier this month, it stood to reason his obituaries would mandatorily lead off identifying him as the writer/director behind the “Pink Panther” movies and as a “master of sophisticated slapstick comedy.” After all, the “Panther” films may not have been his best work, but, in a career marked by as many flops as hits, they were his most recognized and consistently popular efforts with six films spanning 20 years (excluding 1993’s execrable post-Peter Sellers Son of the Pink Panther).

In the longer obits, it was nice to see his more sophisticated work also remembered like romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), another iconic rom-com for another decade in 10 (1979), his 2/3 brilliant and 100% brutal skewering of Hollywood in S.O.B. (1981), and an early turn at drama with Days of Wine and Roses (1962), still one of the most disturbing portraits of alcoholism in a studio film.

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