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The Pink Panther More at IMDbPro »

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a blessing from the past

7/10
Author: lasttimeisaw from China
14 April 2017

Blake Edwards' THE PINK PANTHER, which launches Peter Sellers' beloved character Inspector Jacques Clouseau onto the celluloid, is originally deemed a star vehicle for David Niven's Sir Charles Lytton, whose secret identity is a roué jewelry thief, aka, "The Phantom". Mr. Niven oozes an innate luster of urbanity tinged with bashfulness and innocuousness which is disarming and photogenic, women shall be enamored with him, and men would love to be him because his philandering mischief will hurt no one. Indeed, the script insouciantly glosses over its criminal technicalities in favoring of a goofy comedy upstaged by Mr. Sellers' comic tics, Inspector Clouseau is a bungling caricature, unwittingly two-timed by his wife Simone (Capucine), and conscientious to catch The Phantom before he lay claims to the titular diamond in possession of an Indian princess Dala (Cardinale, whisked to Hollywood in a race-insensitive role trading on her gorgeousness and she is quite a delight in capturing a whiff of tipsy feline bewitchment).

Dawdling from a picturesque ski resort in Cortina d'Ampezzo to Princess Dala's imperial villa in Rome, where a masquerade is followed by a pyrotechnic commotion, the film is conspicuously light in its action (the only set piece is a midnight four-vehicle caper witnessed by an aloof old man in the square), but predominantly elicits laughter from its cartoony context, the most delectable one actually takes place in a bedroom which involves Simone painstakingly trying to hide two men from her husband, who feels frisky to assume their nightly amusement.

Peter Sellers makes great play of Jacques' flat-footedness and unassuming persona to a sparking extent, its drollness would be further and maximally exploited in another Edward-Sellers comedy THE PARTY (1968), the mismatch of his unyielding physicality and dead-pan expression is a winning combo. A silk-stocking Capucine also relishes in her duplicitous flip-flopping with mild exasperation mingled with simmering gaiety, but Robert Wagner's George, the prodigal nephew of Charles, comes across as a drag vaunting his shallow good-looking and brazen chivalry. Also, singer Fran Jeffries contributes a swooning MEGLIO STASERA (IT HAD BETTER BE TONIGHT) which is forever inscribed in one's cortex along with its ear-worm theme ditty, both penned by Henry Mancini.

In toto, it is a comforting experience to see Blake Edawrds' THE PINK PATHER still holds its allure amazingly with its exquisite patina of sophistication and humor, unadulterated by vulgarity and snobbery - the pathology prevalent in modern-day studio comedy wheeled out from Hollywood, a blessing from the past.

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A Romantic Comedy with 5 Leading Stars, not just Peter Sellers

8/10
Author: mike48128 from United States
22 February 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before John Hughes became the Master of Absurd Physical comedy, there was Blake Edwards. Although bumbling Inspector Clouseau was introduced in this movie, make no mistake that David Niven, Robert Wagner, Capucine and Claudia Cardinale play major roles and greatly add to the romantic glitz and glamour portrayed in this lavishly produced film. Filmed on location mainly in Italy, but also in Paris and Hollywood. Beautiful cinematography and sparkling music from Henry Mancini. The nightclub "song" adds to the excitement and does not detract as such "numbers" usually do. Simone and The Princess dress up in elegant and sporty clothing. The formal parties are a knockout. Except for early James Bond, nobody dresses that way anymore! Two celebrated international thieves have the time of their lives seducing women, stealing paintings and the fabulous "Pink Panther" Diamond. Not as much slapstick here as later entries, that almost fail as they become too much about just The Inspector, so it may be a bit slow for younger viewers. It has been compared with Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief". Follow this up with a viewing of "A Shot in the Dark" for a brilliant rainy afternoon double-feature. Great Pink Panther animated titles, too!

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The Great Clouseau

8/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
8 December 2016

Although I like "A Shot in the Dark" better, I find this movie irresistible. From other reviews, I have come to realize that people judge this film on some of the later films which had none of the charm of the original. The case is relatively unimportant. What makes it work is the incredible comedic genius of Peter Sellers. When he died, we lost one of the true comics of our time. He had that wry Britishness to him and an incredible overconfidence that was endearing. The most precious thing to me was his English pronunciation of simple words. "Minkey" for "monkey," for instance. He also would ignore the most awful things going on around him and focus on some triviality. This movie will make your day.

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Great Start. Bad Ending.

7/10
Author: Python Hyena from Canada
23 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Pink Panther (1963): Dir: Blake Edwards / Cast: Peter Sellers, David Nevin, Robert Wagner, Claudia Cardinale, Capucine: Hilarious detective story about the unordinary as Inspector Clouseau is summoned to catch a jewel thief known as the Phantom who will target the famous Pink Panther diamond. Director Blake Edwards is a genius with slapstick pratfalls and the sight jokes are on target. This is quite a different comedy from his masterful work in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Peter Sellers plays Clouseau as someone so sure of what is so wrong but one wonders whether justice was served in the conclusion. His wife is involved with the Phantom, which plays just out of plain view. David Niven plays the Phantom who sadistically dazzles the Princess and outsmarts common sense. Claudia Cardinale plays Princess Dala who may or may not be what she seems. Robert Wagner steals scenes as Nevin's nephew that realizing that his uncle is the Phantom. Of course, he too sets his sights on the jewel as well. Capucine plays Clouseau's wife who is having an affair practically in front of him much to his unawareness to it all. Fine slapstick viewing marred by a rather corrupt conclusion but that will not hinder the humour. The winter setting provide great visual appeal and the art direction is superb. It is a pointless romp that would be known for an animated character. Score: 7 / 10

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"I'm sure no one has ever had a husband like you".

7/10
Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
14 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I could watch Peter Sellers fumble and bumble around all day, but this picture didn't live up to the expectation I had of it for so long. When the movie came out I recall it made quite a splash, giving birth to a cartoon series and movie sequels, and that Pink Panther theme is as recognizable as any movie theme that's out there. But as for the film, what a disappointment. All the 'under the bed' and 'hide in the closet' stuff got to be way too tedious for this viewer, and quite honestly, watching David Niven pucker up with Claudia Cardinale was a little more than I could take. The topper of course was Inspector Clouseau getting hauled off to the hoosegow mistakenly taken for The Phantom; I thought I stumbled into the wrong picture. By then it would have been too late to turn around of course. I'll have to take the advice of other reviewers here and catch up with one of the sequels.

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The Clouseau legend begins! :)

8/10
Author: gilligan1965 from United States
2 March 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a lot of fun and I enjoy it every time I watch it.

The bumbling character of Jacques Clouseau is played so well by Peter Sellers (I cannot image anyone else pulling this off so well!?!?).

David Niven is as refined and classy as he always is. Capucine and Claudia Cardinale are as beautiful as ever. Fran Jeffries is beautiful and sexy and sings and dances in an unforgettable scene.

Then, of course, there's the master writer, producer, director, and, everything else...the late-great Blake Edwards.

To me, these "Pink Panther" movies are 'comedy' versions of the "James Bond" films...exciting, fun, very enjoyable, suspenseful, beautiful locations, etc., but, they're hilarious!

Peter Sellers is a comedic icon ("Dr. Strangelove;" "What's New, Pussycat;" etc.). "A Shot In The Dark" is classic, too, and, co-written by, of all people, William Peter Blatty ("The Exorcist").

I really love these "Pink Panther" movies, and, if you enjoy crazy, clumsy comedy, you will, too. :)

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A Shot in the Light

Author: sol- from Perth, Australia
22 January 2016

While this Blake Edwards comedy introduced the immortal Peter Sellers character of Inspector Clouseau to the world, it is worth noting that he is only a supporting character in the proceedings here as the focus of 'The Pink Panther' is would-be jewel thieves David Niven and Robert Wagner. The first half of the film is in fact hard to endure at times with so much focus given to Niven and Wagner, whose characters are not very remarkable or funny. This balance shifts around halfway in though and there are several funny moments in the second half of the film - the best of which is a sequence in which Capucine has to balance hiding not one but two men in her room without the second man catching onto the first, or Sellers catching onto either! There is also a hilarious homage to the Marx Brothers near the end with twin gorilla suited men doing their take on 'Duck Soup''s broken mirror scene. Clouseau's ultimate fate here is memorable too as he actually gets too clever for his own good. No matter how much of a high note the film ends on though, it is still hard to discount the clumsiness of the first half. That said, repeat viewings are kind to the film. While the frequent absence of Sellers is perplexing the first time round, the film is easier to endure upon revision knowing that this will be the case and that his character will surface in further depth towards the end. Henry Mancini's bouncy, mysterious music score is a delight either way and without 'The Pink Panther', there would be no 'A Shot in the Dark', regarded by some Blake Edwards' funniest comedy.

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Clouseau break out character

6/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
16 January 2016

As a child, Princess Dala was given the Pink Panther diamond (named for a flaw in the stone) from her father, the Shah of Lugash. In Rome, jewel thief The Phantom makes a big score. In Paris, Simone (Capucine) tries to fence the jewels and is almost caught. Bumbling French police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is desperate to catch The Phantom but he doesn't know his wife Simone is involved. In Cortina D'Ampezzo, Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale) is vacationing. Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) is also there who is secretly The Phantom. His American playboy nephew George Lytton (Robert Wagner) is in debt to thugs, coning his way through life, and also plans to steal the jewel. Clouseau arrives with his wife.

Clouseau is the break out character. Sellers steals the movie from Niven. The comedy works when Sellers is on the screen but the movie is flat without him. Simone is also not a particularly good comedic partner for him. She's more of a wet blanket. The audience has to wait for the second movie 'A Shot in the Dark' before Clouseau becomes the lead, and we get Dreyfus and Kato. At least, this first one introduces Clouseau to the world.

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Beloved Comedy

6/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
3 September 2015

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

I will not say anything bad about Peter Sellers, or director Blake Edwards. But I will say this film is not necessarily as funny as it could be. Some parts, especially those around the costume party, are rather humorous (the zebra stripes joke is corny but funny). The rest? I don't know... it seems like they were going for a PG-rated sex comedy, and ended up with some creepy dialogue. What should be romantic comes across as creepy, because it clearly has someone being taken advantage of...

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Not the movie I thought it was

6/10
Author: Fluke_Skywalker from United States
12 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'd never watched a 'Pink Panther' movie before (at least not all the way through), but I thought I had a pretty good idea what they were like. I was wrong. At least about the first one.

This really feels like two different films smooshed together. On the one hand you have the film starring David Niven as debonair thief/con man in a (much) more lighthearted version of something like 'To Catch a Thief', and on the other you have the one with Peter Sellers as a clumsy and oblivious detective in a smart, but much broader, comedy. And though Sellers may steal the movie, he's not the star. That would be the aforementioned Niven (though really it's more of an ensemble with Niven front and center). Sellers probably gets about 1/2 of Niven's screen time, and is all but absent in the second act. Certainly not the popular image one has of these films where Clouseau bumbles his way from one scene to the next in his trademark hat and trench coat.

There are also significant pacing issues, and it takes far too long to set everything up, but when it's working The Pink Panther is an amusing and well acted heist comedy with little hints of the swinging sixties that were about to come.

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