Writer-director Blake Edwards hit paydirt with the character of Inspector Clouseau, a Tati-like police inspector in an over-large trenchcoat who is sublimely indifferent to the physical realities that surround him. Peter Sellers brought magnificent life to the character and it lasted
through a number of movies until Sellers' death. (Clouseau has occasionally been played by others, most recently by Italian comic Roberto Benigni and Steve Martin.)
Niven, in a role not unlike his RAFFLES character (or the part played by Cary Grant in TO CATCH A THIEF almost a decade before), is a famous jewel thief who is suave beyond belief, fairly dripping with sophistication. He...