Blake Edwards, who died yesterday at the age of 88, had a long and successful career in show business — first as an actor, then as an extremely successful writer/producer/director, specializing in the kind of film comedies that helped raise the art of slapstick to its highest pinnacle, the best example of which was and remains the Pink Panther films starring Peter Sellers as bumbling and bungling Paris police inspector Jacques Clouseau. But there was more to Edwards than just comedy — he was also skilled in doing serious drama, as evident by the Peter Gunn TV series, and the feature films Days Of Wine & Roses (1962), and Experiment In Terror (1962). Even Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961) has great moments of human drama, giving us a fragile, yet tender side of Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) — augmented by the music of Edwards’ long-time collaborator Henry Mancini (who also co-wrote the Academy Award-winning song “Moon River”).
Not all of Edwards’ films were successful — but then, the same could also be said of other great directors like Ford, Hawks, Hitchcock, Lean, etc. Nor was Edwards perfect — but then, who was, even in the motion picture industry? Still, Edwards’ best films — even those that were underappreciated — possessed an unique quality that spoke volumes (and still does today), and showed how he rose to the challenge as a filmmaker and proved his worth. It’s a lesson that today’s Hollywood should take to heart, especially the current generation of comedy filmmakers.
John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons and Chameleons To The Rescue, as well as close to three dozen articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet — to learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (http://jlavernoich2008.web.officelive.com/default.aspx), as well as his pages on Windows Live Spaces (http://cid-ef88d131988ab38f.profile.live.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/JLav65).
©2010 John Lavernoich.