The Party Starring: Peter Sellers, Claudine Longet Director: Blake Edwards The film: This is late British comedian Peter Sellers in probably his most engaging role. The premise for the Sellers character of humble Bollywood actor Hrundi V. Bakshi's unlikely invitation to a glitzy and pretentious Hollwood party is a genuine mistake on the part of movie mogul host Fred Clutterbuck (J. Edward McKinley). Clutterbuck produced a film Bakshi inadvertently destroyed - literally, when he accidentally set off explosives that demolished a specially made desert. Clutterbuck was not on location at the time, but gets Bakshi's name on the telephone from the distraught director (Herb Ellis), and accidentally jots the name down on a party invitation list. Sellers is in trouble the moment he arrives in his vintage three-wheeler that he wedges between two luxury motors belonging to other guests. There are few films that can induce so many cringes of embarrassment for the lead character from the viewer. Working with director Blake Edwards, with whom Sellers collaborated in the Pink Panther series, the relentless ridiculous social faux pas, the set-up surrounding circumstances and the immaculate sense of timing ensure Bakshi is not only doing all the wrong things but that fate, for the most part dishes him the most awkward of obstacles. Rather than slapstick buffoonery we get genuine mistakes, such as the attempt to cool down a hand, crushed by a handshake, by plunging it into a mountainous platter of ice shavings - only to get a handful of caviar, chilling at its centre. Naturally, an introduction needing another handshake then beckons. Bakshi's natural curiosity at a steel wall panel of switches topped with the dancing line of a sound-to-light screen, turns out to be a James Bond-like domestic remote control unit that controls audio, light, water and structural features; how was he to guess that? But such innocent curiosity has catastrophic effects and lands him in an awkward spot. Fate though, does throw him a romantic interest at the party, in the form of French actress Michelle Monet (actress/singer Claudine Longet). The extras: Precious little. Besides the original cinema trailer that pastes hilarious snippets to Henry Mancini's psychedelic theme song, we get a few 'cinema facts' printed in the sleeve notes. As one of these facts notes the pioneering idea of mounting TV cameras on to the film cameras to allow excerpts to be broadcast before the final production, we must presume there may at least be some interesting deleted scenes lurking somewhere. A shame that DVD producer MGM did not hunt down for this package.