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The Pink Panther (1963)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  20 March 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 36,108 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 63 critic

Bumbling and conceited French police inspector Clouseau tries to catch The Phantom, a daring jewel thief whose identity and features are unknown - and is acting right under his nose.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Brenda de Banzie ...
Angela Dunning
Colin Gordon ...
Defence Barrister (as John LeMesurier)
James Lanphier ...
Guy Thomajan ...
Michael Trubshawe ...
Felix Townes
Riccardo Billi ...
Aristotle Sarajos
Meri Welles ...
Monica Fawn (as Meri Wells)
Martin Miller ...
Pierre Luigi - Photographer
Fran Jeffries ...
Greek 'cousin'


The trademark of The Phantom, a renowned jewel thief, is a glove left at the scene of the crime. Inspector Clouseau, an expert on The Phantom's exploits, feels sure that he knows where The Phantom will strike next and leaves Paris for Switzerland, where the famous Lugashi jewel 'The Pink Panther' is going to be. However, he does not know who The Phantom really is, or for that matter who anyone else really is... Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You only live once... so see the Pink Panther twice!!! See more »


Comedy | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pantera rosa  »

Box Office


SEK 2,212,000 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The second Clouseau film, A Shot in the Dark (1964), was released only three months after this film. See more »


At the start of his first visit with the Princess, Sir Charles Lytton is using his cane on the left. Within minutes, he's switched it to his right. This could just indicate that he's playing up the injury to spend time with her. See more »


[first lines]
Gem dealer 1: As in every stone of this size, there is a flaw.
Sultan: A flaw?
Gem dealer 2: The slightest flaw, your excellency.
Gem dealer 1: If you look deep into the stone, you will perceive the tiniest discoloration. It resembles an animal.
Sultan: An animal?
Gem dealer 1: A little panther.
Sultan: Yes! A pink panther. Come here, Dala. A gift to your father from his grateful people. Some day it will be yours. The most fabulous diamond in all the world. Come closer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the film's title actually refers to a jewel, the credits are presented in a cartoon sequence featuring a pink panther who interacts with the lettering in various ways -- spinning letters around, unscrambling words, inserting extra credits for himself, and so on. The cartoon panther has subsequently appeared in the same manner in several sequels to this film and eventually his own TV series The Pink Panther Show (1969). See more »


Referenced in The Muppet Show: Peter Sellers (1978) See more »


It Had Better Be Tonight
("Meglio Stasera")
Music Henry Mancini
English Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Italian Franco Migliacci
Sung by Fran Jeffries
Tenor sax solos by Plas Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's Not Supposed to be the same as the sequels
25 July 2002 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Nearly every review I have read condemning _The Pink Panther_ to second or third rate status in the "pantheon" of Clouseau movies comes from someone who either didn't know it existed or who was raised on the totally slapstick offerings that came later. If you are expecting the hackneyed humor and over-the-top performances that came with the last few Panther movies you are bound to be surprised by a movie that took time to make sense out of a story. If those movies are your standard for humor, you are bound to be disappointed.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies. I watched it when it came out. I was eleven and it was showing at a local drive-in. Since then the movie has never failed to entertain me.

Unlike most of the other reviewers, I don't share the same admiration for the later Clouseau movies. I did enjoy _A Shot in the Dark_ and even liked _Return of the Pink Panther_ and its sequel, but frankly, Herbert Lom's twitch, Kato's surprise attacks, increasingly more ludicrous plot devices, and the very fact that Clouseau was still in a position of responsibility was more disbelief than I was willing to suspend.

_The Pink Panther_ is a great Romantic Comedy. That, in itself separates it from all the other Panther clones, which are all farcical slapsticks. Different humor, different purposes, therefore a different appreciation.

_The Pink Panther_ was not a blueprint for other Clouseau movies. Only for the Clouseau character.

This movie was the inspiration for an American icon. The Pink Panther cartoons came out well before the next movie. It also featured inspired comedy performances by its four leads. Yes, FOUR leads. Just because Clouseau wasn't the only major character doesn't mean he was minor. Sellers has more scenes than anyone except David Niven.

_The Pink Panther_ deserves to be considered on its own merits and not compared to movies of another genre that strove to capitalize on the popularity of the original.

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