Blake Edwards

By Peter Lehman and William Luhr

“[Blake Edwards] is an entertaining examination of how movies are assembled and how a director goes about his work. Their speculations on Edwards’s delvings into matters psychological and sexual are compelling reading.”

Bob Powers, The Columbus Dispatch

Blake Edwards is illuminating in many parts, particularly about the technical construction of certain scenes in Edwards’s films. It succeeds in making him appear a more interesting director than is often thought.”

Andrew Hislop, Times Literary Supplement

Until the extraordinary critical and commercial success of “10,” Blake Edwards was mostly known as the director of the immensely popular Pink Panther films. The character of Inspector Clouseau, as played by Peter Sellers, has, in the estimation of some critics, joined the ranks of such classic comic personae as Chaplin’s tramp and Keaton’s stone-faced clown. This study analyzes not only these extremely successful films, but all of the more than twenty films Edwards has directed since the mid-fifties.

By applying recent psychoanalytic and feminist critical methods, the authors go well beyond the limitations of the usual auteur analysis. They not only treat the formal and thematic aspects of Edwards’s films, but they also expose the deep ideological problems embedded in the films. Edwards’s films are historically placed within the production circumstances in which he worked, and they are related to the director’s background in radio and television. This is the first book–length study to appear on a director who, it is becoming increasingly clear, occupies a position of major importance in contemporary filmmaking.

Peter Lehman is a professor of media arts at the University of Arizona and president of the Society for Cinema Studies. He has edited Close Viewings: An Anthology of New Film Criticism and was founding editor of Wide Angle.

William Luhr is a professor of English at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has written Raymond Chandler and Film (1982) and edited World Cinema Since 1945 (1987).

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Film and Video - History and Criticism · Media and Film Studies · Biography