Long consigned to cult status and placed among Blake Edwards’ second-tier comedies — behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Victor/Victoria, and his Pink Panther movies — The Party is, in fact, a highly watchable gem that, unfortunately, falls flat in its last act. The loosely structured film is centered on Hrundi V. Bakshi, a bit-part Indian actor employed on the set of a big-budget remake of Gunga Din. His dramatic interpretation of his role leads to his firing — and his (very much unintended) placement on the guest list of a party thrown by the powerful studio head. The film is a showcase for the improvisatory brilliance of Peter Sellers — he gives Hrundi a gentle innocence, though we have mixed feelings about his brownface makeup and passable Indian accent. The middle third of the movie, a densely layered mise en scene worthy of Jacques Tati, is full-on brilliant — and is capped by a memorable encounter between Hrundi and a strangely named bird.