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The Pink Panther (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 20 March 1964 (USA)
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The bumbling Inspector Clouseau travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as "The Phantom" before he conducts his most daring heist yet: a princess' priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as "The Pink Panther".

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Sir Charles Lytton
... Insp. Jacques Clouseau
... George Lytton
... Simone Clouseau
Brenda de Banzie ... Angela Dunning
... Tucker
... Defence Barrister (as John LeMesurier)
James Lanphier ... Saloud
... Artoff
... Felix Townes
Riccardo Billi ... Aristotle Sarajos
Meri Welles ... Monica Fawn (as Meri Wells)
Martin Miller ... Pierre Luigi - Photographer
... Greek 'cousin'
... The Princess
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The star-studded international cast of the year sparkling in the wackiest, most wonderful sport - on the glamorous Italian Riviera where the jet-set swings, sways and plays... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 March 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pantera rosa  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,878,107
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With just two weeks to go before shooting begun, the producers decided that Ava Gardner's erratic lifestyle could affect filming and decided not to offer her the part of Madame Clouseau. Capucine was hired in a hurry, but Peter Ustinov's wife felt this would affect the calibre of the production and told him to withdraw . From this chaos, Peter Sellers became an international superstar. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.87 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A true classic - One of the best of the Sixties
19 March 2001 | by See all my reviews

To me, the defining moment in The Pink Panther comes when Clouseau is finally asked by his wife to get her a sleeping pill. Frustrated, discouraged, he tramps across the room for the umpteenth time to do his wife's bidding. We see him go into the bathroom, and then we hear - not see - ALL the pills drop on the floor of the bathroom. Without picking them up, or even saying anything or reacting in any way, he crunches across the floor and back into our view, carrying the water and the pill for her. You know exactly what happened; you didn't need to see it.

This is typical of this movie and this style: the jokes are so underplayed, quiet and perfectly paced that people accustomed to seeing "American Pie" and "There's Something About Mary", or even the bunch 'o sequels to this film (that grew progressively coarser and louder with each installment) may not get or even notice them. In the first sight of Inspector Clouseau, we see him pulling the old "leaning on a spinning globe and taking a pratfall" trick. But the moment is over with quickly; it's not made more than it is meant to, because the point of the pratfall is to define Clouseau's character in a moment. (Compare with later, more painful, re-occurences of this spinning-globe idea in the sequels). Most of the other moments derive from this idea: at the center of this caper film is this man who is inextricably dense and clueless, and yet retains a curious grace - not to speak of a total savoire-faire in all moments.

This film could never be made today. In fact, it's a time capsule of a certain sort of late 50's, early 60's sensibility. Examples: all the people showing up for the Princess's dinner in formal evening wear. David Niven's late-night repartee with the Princess - all about numb lips and champagne. The musical number - for no reason whatsoever. The glamorous locales - without a trace of irony, straight out of "To Catch a Thief", the inspiration for this type of "caper" flick. The curiously innocent and unsexual bedroom farce moments. And, of course, the ending car chase with guests in ape suits, a suit of armor, and not one but two cops in a zebra outfit (what a good choice for those interested in speed and efficiency!) And these are just the moments - see how effortlessly the screenplay weaves all the story lines together, and how beautifully the pace gets accelerated throughout the movie. Not to speak of the opening credits, which are like a whole cartoon sequence in themselves. Obviously, I'm crazy about this picture; it's pretty, it's captivating, it's romantic, it's funny, and it weighs about two ounces - it's just delectable cotton candy. And through it all Peter Sellers gives one of the most subtle, and funniest, comic performances put to film, walking around in a fog, totally unaware of reality, and underplaying his role to the hilt.

Rumor has it that a remake is in the works, with Mike Myers in the Clouseau role. Let's compare two moments to get a preview: Peter Sellers bringing his wife a part-full glass of milk that he has spilled most of. At her quizzical look he innocently says,"That was all they had, my dear!" .... compared with Austin Powers drinking, um, the brown substance that is not coffee. Different strokes for different folks, indeed. Looking forward to it, uh huh.


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