Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) finally gets his release from a California mental institution after he is found guilty by reason of insanity for the heinous murders he committed over 22 years prior. Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of one of Bates’ victims, has her pleas for a non-release fall on deaf ears. Having been declared of ‘sound mind’ again, Norman returns to his gothic childhood home and Bates Motel near Fairvale, CA, and takes up a job while on parole at a diner nearby. Norman becomes fast friends with a waitress there named Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), and he ends up offering her a room for a while after her boyfriend tosses her out for someone new. However, as much as Norman tries to put the past behind him, he is beginning to get that old feeling again, as he begins receiving handwritten notes and phone calls from his mother, as well as her appearance in the house at various times, and people begin to start dying once again.
Ted Wass stars as New York City police sergeant Clifton Sleigh, who ends up getting selected by an Interpol computer that is choosing the second-best sleuth in the world to use to find the missing best sleuth, Inspector Clouseau. Except Sleigh isn’t the best, as Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) deliberately sabotaged the computer to try to find the worst and assure the whereabouts of Clouseau remains a mystery. Meanwhile, Clouseau is still alive in the care of health spa operator Countess Chandra (Joanna Lumley), who aims to change his looks through plastic surgery. Meanwhile, the criminal element of the French underworld tries to take out Sleigh before he can find success in bringing their nemesis back, Inspector Clouseau. Blake Edwards co-writes and directs this attempt to continue the Pink Panther series beyond the death of star Peter Sellers.
Trail of the Pink Panther is a film done nearly two years after the death of Pink Panther franchise star Peter Sellers, compiling the best clips and unused outtakes from prior films, along with new material to hang together a plot around the. That plot involves the theft of the infamous and priceless Pink Panther diamond from the fictional country of Lugash, and Chief Inspector Clouseau, at the request of the president of Lugash, is brought in yet again to investigate its whereabouts, against the wishes of Commissioner Dreyfus. In the course of the globe-hopping investigation, a plane carrying Clouseau goes down into the ocean, where it is presumed he might have finally met his fate. A television reporter is called forth to talk to those who knew Clouseau well, from co-workers to those he helped put away, as well as those who knew of his activities prior to joining the police, from his childhood upbringing to becoming a resistance fighter for France in World War II. Herbert Lom, Joanna Lumley, David Niven, and Robert Loggia also appear. Blake Edwards directs.