To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.
When a widow's husband gets murdered in cold blood, Inspector Clouseau is back on the job leaving Maria, the widow to be the suspect. However, Clouseau struggles the overwhelming evidence as the true suspect is still out there.
Inspector Clouseau disappears, and the Surete wants the world's second best detective to look for him. However, Clouseau's enemy, Dreyfus, rigs the Surete's computer to select, instead, the... See full summary »
The Pink Panther is a heroic, moral cartoon cat with pink fur and the manners of an English aristocrat. He only becomes flustered or angry at obtuse or offensive humans who try to disrupt ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
The role of Simone Clouseau was offered to Ava Gardner and Janet Leigh before Capucine got the part. In her autobiography, Leigh states she turned it down because she had recently gotten married to fourth husband Robert Brandt and didn't want to go on location and away from her new husband. Gardner accepted the role, but both her salary and personal demands were deemed unacceptable to the producers. 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 »
Gem dealer 1:
As in every stone of this size, there is 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.
Gem dealer 1:
A little panther.
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.
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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 »
While "The Pink Panther" launched one of film comedy's most celebrated franchises, it doesn't seem like director Blake Edwards had a clue what made it work. Peter Sellers makes his debut as bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau, but he gets lost in a supporting role in an antic caper comedy that tries to be sophisticated and slapstick all at once, with minimal success.
Something's off from the very beginning, where we see the familiar image of the Pink Panther toying with the opening credits, only instead of suavely making trouble for others, the cartoon cat becomes the butt of it. A similar fate befalls Clouseau in the ensuing movie, made into the fall guy by screenplay and his faithless wife alike. Instead of Clouseau bumbling his way to win the day, he falls short at every turn.
A friendlier, more mild-mannered character than he would become in later films, which makes the sadistic streak toward him here harder to take, Clouseau is largely a bystander in a story that focuses on the travails of jewel thief Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven), his ne'er-do-well nephew (Robert Wagner), the thief's lover (and Clouseau's wife, played by Capucine), and a princess who stands to lose her priceless diamond the Pink Panther to Sir Charles, not to mention her heart.
You kind of want to give "The Pink Panther" every benefit of the doubt when the princess is played by the lovely Claudia Cardinale. There's great music by Henry Mancini, notably the well-known title theme but also some incidental numbers that resonate with early-60s lounge chic. The scenery in the Italian Alps is fetching, and so are the Yves St. Laurent outfits the ladies wear. There's some charming conversation between Sir Charles and the princess that almost doesn't come off as contrived only because the actors sell it so well.
But the film is slow, especially for those of us used to the faster pace and surer humor of the later Panther films. Some will say the series became more adolescent after this first installment, but what really happened was Edwards dropped the pretensions on display here, not to mention boring Sir Charles, and figured out why the film succeeded as much as it did. Only a few months later, Clouseau was back on screen in the classic "A Shot In The Dark," and the Pink Panther series began in earnest.
Capucine is the weakest link, with her vinegary, put-upon face and unlikable role, yet she stars in the film's one brilliant sequence, where her character is wooed alternately by Lytton and his nephew sneaking into her hotel room, and then she has to protect both from discovery by a suspicious Clouseau. It works because there's a natural rhythm to it, a build-up that doesn't feel artificial and a quick succession of funny moments, like when one of the intruders hides in a bathtub, or a champagne bottle goes off at the wrong moment.
But the rest of the film feels more labored, with Clouseau tripping over everything and everyone, jamming his hand in someone's beer mug and poking his finger up another man's nose just to remind us we're supposed to laugh. Let's not even discuss that dislikable ending.
You have a good moment here and there, a nice performance of "It Had Better Be Tonight" by the here-and-gone Jane Fonda lookalike Fran Jeffries, and Sellers taking what might be called a practice run at his signature role. But "The Pink Panther," while fitfully entertaining, is hardly memorable, and overstays its welcome by half-an-hour. Fortunately, Edwards and Sellers wasted little time getting it right with "A Shot In The Dark," and a rich vein of real comedy would be tapped for all to enjoy.
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