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.
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>
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 »
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 »
First "Panther" was very different, but quite good
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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