Classic Movie Review: The Party (1968)

Title: The Party
Release Date: April 4, 1968
Director: Blake Edwards
Production Company: The Mirisch Corporation

The French magazine Cahiers du Cinema greatest films of all-time list includes a lot of selections I’ve never heard of. The Party is a strange inclusion since it is an American film with a English lead actor in Peter Sellers, but gets no attention from the American AFI or British Sight & Sound lists.

Turns out, The Party is racist as fuck. Sellers wears brownface to portray a bumbling Indian actor, Hrundi V. Bakshi, accidentally invited to a Hollywood cocktail party where he inadvertently causes chaos. Aside from the racial stereotyping, the movie is just cringe comedy of the worst kind. I gave it 30 minutes before I gave up but I don’t expect it gets any better.

Rating: No rating since I couldn’t finish it

3 thoughts on “Classic Movie Review: The Party (1968)

  1. I’m glad you flagged this, Liam, and its racism, without giving it any oxygen. Sellers really ran with his Indian caricature, going on to make The Millionnairess with Sophia Loren in 1960. South Asians in Britain still struggle with the legacy of his accent. The terrific sketch comedy series in the 1990s, Goodness Gracious Me (with Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Kulvinder Ghir, Nina Wadia, and others) turned that racist caricature on its head, its very name taken from one of the songs in The Millionnairess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liam, but I realize that I got the dates wrong. The Millionairess (1960) was made first, and The Party (1968) ran with the racist caricature. That makes it even more unforgivable, especially since it came out in the same year as the rabidly anti-immigrant Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech.


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