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|Index||142 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SPOILERS - This initial "Pink Panther" film has a thin storyline around which they wrapped lots of physical comedy. Silly chase scenes in the streets of Rome. Hand stuck in the beer stein. Two masked gorillas trying to steal from the same safe, from opposite sides. Robert Wagner and David Niven, playing jewel-thief nephew and uncle get first billing in this film, but the best acting is done by Peter Sellers in his patented low-key style. Strange - even though the film was set and filmed in Paris and Rome, plus an Italian ski resort, the conversation at the climatic trial referred to "thirty thousand dollars" that Clouseau's wife spent in one year. Eventually, he was framed for the jewel heists and the movie ends with him on the way to prison, as Niven and Wagner get off. The best thing about this movie is the launch pad it became for the following "Inspector Clouseau" films.
God, I know I'm going to tick a lot of people off when I say that "The Pink
Panther" is the worst film of the series. Blake Edwards was still trying to
develop as the great filmmaker he would eventually become. While there are
some funny moments in this film, there is a long, boring stretch in the
middle of the film that really knocks the wind out of it.
I think one of the problems was the casting of David Niven as the Phantom. While Niven was undeniably one of the great actors of his time (think of "Separate Tables" and "Bedtime Story", this type of slapstick comedy was not his greatest strength. He comes off as stiff today. And the female roles are just those that could be played by any young woman under the age of 30.
Much better are the two performers who really work hard and come off extremely well. Robert Wagner, cast as the Phantom's nephew, provides a much needed shot in the arm when he appears on screen. He has perfect comic timing and often has many of the best moments. and for a film that spawns five sequels, there is surprisingly little of Peter Sellers' Clouseau in this film. Knowing what Clouseau is capable of in the later films, he really doesn't do all that much. But what he does do is steal the picture. And where are Cato and Chief Inspector Dreyfus?
I didn't really like this film, yet I find myself recommending it. Why? Because of Sellers and Wagner and the last 25 minutes of this film which is a great combination of slapstick and mystery put together with a twist ending that no one would expect. But trust me on two things: it's no masterpiece and Edwards has done better. People condemn "Curse" but it is fast paced and has some truly inventive slapstick sequences. This film would have benefited from some editing.
*** out of 4
Delectable farce is what you get in spades with this very first "Pink
Panther" film. The extended scene in which Capucine as Madame Clouseau has
to juggle both David Niven and Robert Wagner into various hidey holes in
hotel room so her amorous-but-clumsy husband, played by the late, great
Peter Sellers, doesn't twig to their presence--this is truly one of the
unsung comedy sequences in all filmdom, say I.
Others will prefer the dress-up-ball sequence in which Niven and Wagner, both wearing gorilla costumes and neither knowing the other is there, open two sides of the same safe to steal the fabled jewel after which the film is named. The diamond is not there, as it turns out, and they make good their escape only because hapless Inspector Clouseau has set off all the planned-for fireworks prematurely inside the ballroom, amid panicked guests dressed as Cleopatras and zebras and so forth.
Still others will split their sides over the ensuing car chase in which the police under Clouseau look fully as ridiculous as they zoom about this way and that as do the two frustrated "Phantoms" who can't find a road that takes them out of town. The touch of the old gentleman who departs a bistro in a bit of an alcoholic fog, longing for bed, only to witness all the pandemonium breaking out around him as he sits slack-jawed in a chair he has brought to the middle of the road, makes the scene unforgettable.
The later Panther films were wonderful, but none was so exquisitely balanced on the fine edge of farce as this one.
Pink Panther is a decent movie with a few laughs. There was no funny
and all that and it was so boring. The only thing I like about the movie
Inspector Clouseau. I liked his bumbling manner and baudy comedy. But
movie was slow and dull... But I still need to watch Shot In The Dark and
the other Pink Panther movies with Sellers...
The worst movie of the series isn't that bad, but just not as good compared to what will come. Cluseau is the only really good and funny character, and even his character isn't that well-formed yet. Cluseau wasn't as clumsy, and that can be good and bad. Not as funny, but he doesn't annoy you very much. Still, I like the way he was later. David Nivens doesn't play Litton with very much vigor, and his whole romance seen with the drunken princess was so BORING!. Robert Wagner's newphew character was unneeded and not good. I liked the wife angle, but I'm glad they opted for Kato and Dreyfus instead. The script isn't bad, it's just very plain and unoriginal. Still, a fairly funny movie. 6/10 or a C average.
I tried a lot to love this movie but I failed. It's a bedroom comedy meets a heist movie, but the outcome wasn't sexy or thrilling. The love story between (Claudia Cardinale) and (David Niven) was unconvincing; they had absolutely no chemistry with each other, most probably this storyline mirrors the real desires of old Hollywood producers at the time to have a young girl as a lover. (Robert Wagner) can't act or look droll. (Capucine) is uninteresting with one-note sullen face, looking more like a talking statue. (Peter Sellers) is in what seems to be a cameo that had been elongated. His farce was unnecessary and unfunny. The whole thing feels as cold as the ice which was in, and obviously around, the entire movie. This is the worst Sellers' Pink Panther movie. Compared to it, its first spin-off (A Shot in the Dark 1964) is a wicked masterpiece, despite not having the wide-screen scenery and the ensemble cast. It makes believe that it's a comedy while in fact it has no laughs, just ridiculous and boring nonsense that alleges being comic. (Blake Edwards) was obtusely toying with money and stars without any nice stuff along the way. As a whole, it sounds exactly like a gift box covered with flashy paper and tied by expensive ribbon, yet with no gift inside. Its only advantage is starting the Pink Panther trademark cartoon and music. Add to that; the song in the middle; although I didn't understand a word of it, not knowing till now is it Spanish or Italian, but at least it was hot and lively unlike this movie!
This isn't really a review. It's more of a heads-up to those who (like
me) expected this to be one of the classic "Pink Panther" films that
we've all come to know & love.
Clouseau barely has 5 scenes in the film. In this first installment, he's really just a sideshow (who, in later years, ended up stealing the show). But more than that, the style of Blake Edwards isn't as polished and characteristic as it would become later. This film wrestles with his dichotomy between zany humour and straight romance (btw, to those of you who were expecting a crime caper, you'll be disappointed. The crime, like Clouseau, is just a sideshow.) Have you ever listened to a song on the radio where the vocals are way too low? (example: Louie Louie) The result is a feeling of annoyance. If the mixing engineer had focused on the vocals a bit more, the song would have character. But instead, it's just a confusing soup with someone mumbling in the background.
This is the feeling I got when watching this presentation of Clouseau. We can see Sellers' genius shining through, but the direction and editing just doesn't give him enough presence. So we're left saying to ourselves, "That was a decent movie, but what's with the goofy French guy who keeps falling over things?" Later, of course, the "goofy French guy" would become the star of the show (instead of a footnote) and only then would the "Pink Panther films" become truly "Pink Panther films". This first effort is noteworthy, and surely the Panther fans will get a kick out of seeing Clouseau's beginning (much like Trek fans will enjoy the first 1966 episode even though William Shatner isn't in it), but those of us who are expecting more will be somewhat disappointed.
The story line of The Pink Panther concerns, mostly, the efforts of
various parties to steal a large and extremely valuable diamond from
the deposed princess of an un-named Asian mini-state. A smaller part is
played by the efforts of bumbling Inspector Clouseau to capture "The
Phantom" - one of those attempting the theft.
Unfortunately the plot-line which takes up most time is far less interesting than the Inspector Clouseau line, leaving several sections of the movie with a feeling of marking time. The action (and comedy) only really begin to pick up until the party when the actual burglary is expected to take place and Clouseau and the Phantom are brought together.
Peter Sellers is priceless, as usual, but he is underused and the film as a whole suffers. Watch one of the later films where Sellers/Clouseau play a larger role, especially if you enjoy quality slapstick and visual humour.
People who found this movie unfunny, boring, and dated, and those who can't understand why Sellers as Clousseau is not featured more in the film, are probably too young to be familiar with 60s film-making. They have seen the various sequels and have come to expect a faster pace, a movie fixated on one character,and much more vulgarity. The Pink Panther was meant to be an ensemble comedy and closely resembles a French "bedroom farce." Note that there are five main characters and all of them are introduced in separate sequences at the film's start. Inspector Clousseau was not the film's focus;he was a supporting character who happened to get the biggest laughs and was therefore made the subject of the sequels. (You can bet that the ill-advised remake now under way will feature Clousseau in every scene). Yes,I just saw this film again and found the early part of it a bit slow by current standards, though most of it was just as funny as I remembered-and I had not remembered things like David Niven toasting the Princess with "L'Chayim!" or the Princess's incipient feminist retorts to Niven, or lines like "I'll have your stripes for this" (said to a cop disguised as a zebra) and "Get your filthy hands off my asp." But I first saw The Pink Panther when it came out. I was 13 and it was the first movie I went to without my parents. To me, it was a risqué movie, an adult experience, as were the James Bond films. For me,it still rocks
This movie seems to benefit from the reputation of its star Peter Sellers
and from the reputation of its funnier sequels. But somebody's gotta say
it---it's boring as hell, as well as about 40 minutes too long. There is
far too little of Inspector Clouseau and way too much of the dated
performers/sex symbols David Niven, Claudia Cardinale and Capucine. Their
stardom is puzzling to me, though I give Niven some credit for carrying
the urbane British thing, but jesus isn't he a little old for that in this
movie? and where did he get that mustache--from John Waters? Capucine
Cardinale are just plain dreadful, certainly far from comedic actors. the
best thing is the party near the end, where a cop in a zebra outfit drinks
straight out of the punch bowl. If the film had loosened up like this from
the start we could have been spared the labored plotting and witless
flirting between Cardinale, Capucine and Niven. oh, and Robert Wagner is
certainly handsome but he shows the complete lack of charisma that carried
him through a gem like Hart to Hart.
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