With the Steve Martin remake of The Pink Panther about to arrive in
theaters (and, I have little doubt, about to depart almost as
quickly), I'm reminded most forcefully that there really is such a
thing as a generation gap. Not the chasm my younger sister once
claimed between the two of us, a gap that was (and is) a mere two
years, eight months and a few days. No, I speak of a larger gap,
as evidenced by a story that when some twentysomethings heard about
the movie, they wondered if the panther of the title was going to be
CGI like Garfield and Scooby Doo. It seems this younger generation
equates The Pink Panther to the cartoons, and perhaps that series of
fibreglass insulation ads, and not the Blake Edwards flicks that
started it all. It's a little like describing The Beatles as Paul's
band before Wings.
But I suppose I should say something about this album. I like
Mancini's music in the context of the movies that inspired it. And if
the performances here are rather on the Muzak-y side, well, so were
the originals. If you don't know some of these, go hit Blockbuster.
Or wait for TCM to run them. It'll be worth it. Mostly.