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The Pink Panther (1963)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 18 March 1964 (USA)
Trailer
3:49 | Trailer
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
3,844 ( 169)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 7 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 ... Angela Dunning
Colin Gordon ... Tucker
John Le Mesurier ... Defence Barrister (as John LeMesurier)
James Lanphier ... Saloud
Guy Thomajan ... Artoff
Michael Trubshawe ... Felix Townes
Riccardo Billi Riccardo Billi ... Aristotle Sarajos
Meri Welles ... Monica Fawn (as Meri Wells)
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:

You only live once... so see the Pink Panther twice!!! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Niven was hoping the Pink Panther would help launch a series of films for him akin to the Thin Man series. Due to the focus of future films being placed on Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, this never came to fruition. Niven would go on to play a parody of Thin Man Nick Charles, named Dick Charleston, in Neil Simon's Murder by Death (1976), a film which ironically also starred Sellers. See more »

Goofs

When the cab drives off with the Clouseau-impersonator who lost his slipper, the shadow of the rear of the departing cab recedes "upward" and out of the top of the frame, and then suddenly re-appears partway down into the frame instead of starting at the top of the frame and gradually working down into the frame again. Obvious "cut-and-splice" in the film between the footage of the cab leaving and that of it then hastily backing up again to let the villain retrieve his slipper. 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

Although the film's title actually refers to a jewel, the credits are presented in a cartoon sequence featuring a pink panther who interacts with the lettering in various ways -- spinning letters around, unscrambling words, inserting extra credits for himself, and so on. The cartoon panther has subsequently appeared in the same manner in several sequels to this film and eventually his own TV series The Pink Panther Show (1969). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Magical World of Disney: Mickey's 50 (1978) 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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User Reviews

 
Elegance in advance of slapstick
10 March 2002 | by KakuekeSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

The Pink Panther DVD

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

18 March 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pink Panther See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,878,107

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,878,107
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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