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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".

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Maurice Richlin (screenplay), Blake Edwards (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,222 ( 78)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
David Niven ... Sir Charles Lytton
Peter Sellers ... Insp. Jacques Clouseau
Robert Wagner ... George Lytton
Capucine ... Simone Clouseau
Brenda de Banzie Brenda de Banzie ... Angela Dunning
Colin Gordon ... Tucker
John Le Mesurier ... Defence Barrister (as John LeMesurier)
James Lanphier James Lanphier ... Saloud
Guy Thomajan ... Artoff
Michael Trubshawe ... Felix Townes
Riccardo Billi Riccardo Billi ... Aristotle Sarajos
Meri Welles Meri Welles ... Monica Fawn (as Meri Wells)
Martin Miller Martin Miller ... Pierre Luigi - Photographer
Fran Jeffries ... Greek 'cousin'
Claudia Cardinale ... 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:

A Madcap Frolic Of Crime and Fun See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

20 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La pantera rosa See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,878,107
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mirisch G-E Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When George runs out onto the street in Los Angeles, you can see Hody's restaurant in the background. That's on the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine. See more »

Goofs

The amount of champagne in the Princess's glass impossibly changes drastically between "just seconds apart" shots (i.e., where there would have been no time between the shots for her to drink more of the liquid or for Sir Charles to refill the glass) of her reclining on the tiger-pelt rug - in one shot it's nearly empty and she's tipping it back to drain the last of it from the bottom of the glass, and then in the next shot it is half-full, etc. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title animation reflects the functions of the credited persons, for instance, Pink Panther as the orchestra director (at the music credits), him before a photo camera (director of photography), the Phantom hand typing at the typewriter (screenplay). See more »

Connections

Followed by Son of the Pink Panther (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pink Panther Theme
Written by Henry Mancini
Tenor Sax solo by Plas Johnson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

First "Panther" was very different, but quite good
5 March 2002 | by mlevansSee all my reviews

I honestly thought I had seen every Pink Panther movie. (Or should I say, every `Clouseau movie,' since I had even seen Adam Arkin's `Inspector Clouseau'?) I discovered tonight, however, that I had never seen the original 1963 classic, `The Pink Panther.' (Or, if I had, I was far too young to appreciate it and had forgotten all but a couple of scenes.)

For those not familiar with the film, this, of course, launched the Clouseau character and the Pink Panther series. Beyond the characters of Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) and Sir Charles Litton (David Niven) and the fabulous Pink Panther diamond, though, there is little resemblance between the series-launching film and later Panther comedies. This is not necessarily bad, although fans of the fast-paced slapstick of the later entries will likely be a bit disappointed.

Of course this was the precursor, and Sellers and director Blake Edwards were just beginning to explore the character and world of Clouseau, that most incompetent and clumsy of detectives, who nevertheless gets his man.

The original Panther is a romantic comedy, with Sellers as merely part of a very good ensemble cast. We see very little of the hilarious Clouseau schtick for which Sellers is best remembered. He has no bizarre pronunciations yet and even has a gorgeous – though highly devious – wife. We can certainly see flashes of the Clouseau to come, though, and Sellers blends into the exotic montage quite well.

Niven is really the star of this first Panther production. As the swashbuckling, womanizing aristocrat/phantom, he turns in one of his best performances. A very young Robert Wagner also does good work as his long-lost nephew, George Litton.

Two extremely attractive and exotic actresses also heat things up. French beauty Capucine plays Simone Clouseau and is at the height of her career in 1963. Director George Cukor said that `The camera has a love affair with her face.' Edwards' camera certainly did. She handles both the romantic and slapstick scenes with equal aplomb. (Compare the `husband coming home unexpectedly' scene with Capucine, Liven, Wagner and Sellers with the same scene in `Horsefeathers' with all four Marx Brothers, Thelma Todd and her husband!) The other enchanter is Claudia Cardinale, as Princess Dala. The Italian beauty queen is perfect as the sexy, exotic princess and owner of The Pink Panther diamond. In the champagne scene with Litten and the Tiger rug, Cardinale is enticing enough to make a male viewer completely forget Sellers and his bumbling detective work!

While Edwards and Sellers changed directions a bit in later films, the original Pink Panther is worth renting for more than just its historic value. It is indeed a fine film and a wonderful work of art – something, which, indeed might be said for both Capucine and Cardinale, as well! By all means, rent the original Pink Panther; just don't expect slow motion Kung Fu attacks and insane chief inspectors taking shots at Clouseau!


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