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The Pink Panther (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 18 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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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 ... 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 ... 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

Claudia Cardinale could not speak English, so Princess Dala's dialog was dubbed by 20-year-old Gale Garnett. See more »

Goofs

When Clouseau comes back to the bedroom with the violin case, he puts it on the armchair. Later he sits down and the case is no longer there. 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 A Shot in the Dark (1964) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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