Thursday, December 16, 2010
Blake Edwards (1922-2010)
TCM is going to have to update its annual "Remembers" short, if not to acknowledge Jean Rollin, or to correct the first version's omission of Ingrid Pitt, then certainly to make room for a seminal figure in American pop culture. Blake Edwards was the creator of hard-boiled radio detective Richard Diamond and hard-boiled, style-setting TV detective Peter Gunn, and soft-boiled comic detective Jacques Clouseau. He directed Operation Petticoat, Breakfast at Tiffany's and, to shake things up a bit, Experiment in Terror. He did the Pink Panther thing to death -- and beyond -- but also reinvented himself as sex-farce and satire specialist with 10 and follow-up comedies deep into the 1980s. He made crap and he made classics, and he made a wonderful fake wheelchair-crash entrance to accept his honorary Oscar a few years back. I doubt whether anyone will rank him among the greats, but he left his own stamp on popular culture over half a century, and that's worthy of note today.