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".
To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.
Inspector Clouseau disappears, and the Surete wants the world's second best detective to look for him. However, Clouseau's enemy, Dreyfus, rigs the Surete's computer to select, instead, the... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter Ustinov was originally selected for the role of Inspector Clouseau. However, in January 1963 he was fired because the Mirisch Company sued him for $175,000 in damages after being pulled out of production. During production in Rome, Peter Sellers replaced him and ended up playing Inspector Clouseau in all of the Pink Panther movies. See more »
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 »
Gem dealer 1:
As in every stone of this size, there is 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.
Gem dealer 1:
A little panther.
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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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 »
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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