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The Pink Panther (1963)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime  |  20 March 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 36,119 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


A Madcap Frolic Of Crime and Fun 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?


Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers enjoyed working together to develop Clouseau down to every move and nuance of voice and expression. "For years I'd been getting bits of what I wanted into films, as writer or director...but I had never had an area in which to exploit my ideas to the full," Edwards said. "Then along came Peter, a walking storehouse of madness, a ham with an almost surrealist approach to the insanity of things, and we found an immediate affinity." See more »


When Clouseau comes back to the bedroom with the violin case, he puts it on the armchair. Later he sits down and the case is no longer there. 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

At the end of the film the cartoon pink panther makes a brief appearance in a live-action scene holding up a sign reading THEND, which he then corrects to THE END. See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.163 (2010) 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

Elegance in advance of slapstick
10 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

It is said correctly that the first two Pink Panther movies, this and "A Shot in the Dark," are more sophisticated and for adults, compared with the later series of films that began ten years later, which are more blatant slapstick and somewhat juvenile. The latter are more purely entertaining, because they cause people (even adults) to break out and laugh, whereas the humor here is more elegant and less loud, not to say it is not very good. Still, I rate the original "Pink Panther" film very highly because of its own brand of entertainment and humor, and I put it above most of its successors ("Returns" and "Strikes Again" are at least as good, but I think most people would agree that with the end ones things go downhill).

Clouseau is one of the five main characters in the film, but he is only the fourth most prominent. It might be said that David Niven as the many-times-over thief Sir Charles Litton is the most prominent, followed by Claudia Cardinale as Central Asian Princess Dala, owner of the Pink Panther diamond that is the bait to be stolen, but I would argue that Clouseau's wife Simone (played by Capucine) is as at least equal to Sir Charles, if not more prominent. After all, she is effectively a double agent — Clouseau's wife, while aiding and abetting Sir Charles — and she even has a fling with Sir Charles's nephew George Litton. Two different affairs, but all of an extremely classy and gorgeous woman, just like Claudia Cardinale, and she seems to like all three men equally. Within her romances and the intrigue of the plot there is lots of hotel bedroom-to-bedroom back and forth and hiding, etc. Simone's humor, combined with her good bearing, is great, and she is the highlight of the film to me.

Clouseau's bumbling and klutziness is there, just less-pronounced, less loud and dominant. The film flows well, with good dialogue and comedy, and elegant settings of upscale hotels and fancy parties. The wit and humor are perhaps not described as subtle, but just less loud and more intelligent and refined than that of the later films. It seems that many comedies have idiotic, goofy characters, to such an extent that they may not be funny, but in this film the five main characters are urbane and smooth. Even Sellers has that bearing, while being a klutz too. But sometimes the presence of such more refined characters does not matter if the people are not appealing and the comedy is not funny. Here, however, the characters are definitely very appealing and poised, within a well-written good script, making for a good chemistry.

There is a great scene in which Sir Charles attempts to seduce the princess, who is laying stomach down on a tiger skin. The verbal reigns over the slapstick there, as in many other parts of the movie. Still, the ending is not without the latter, and it has a good ironic twist. Yes, there will be more slapstick to come...

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