The Pink Panther (1963 film)

The Pink Panther (1963 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Pink Panther


image_size = 215px
caption = theatrical poster
director = Blake Edwards
producer = Martin Jurow
writer = Blake Edwards
Maurice Richlin
starring = David Niven
Peter Sellers
Robert Wagner
Capucine
Claudia Cardinale
music = Henry Mancini
cinematography = Philip H. Lathrop
editing = Ralph E. Winters
distributor = United Artists
The Mirisch Company
released = 19 December 1963 "(Germany)"
20 March 1964 "(US)"
runtime = 113 minutes
country = United Kingdom / FilmUS
language = English
budget =
followed_by = "A Shot in the Dark"
imdb_id = 0057413

"The Pink Panther", directed by Blake Edwards and co-written by Edwards and Maurice Richlin, is a fy|1963 comedy film, starring David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner and Capucine.

It is the first entry in what became a film franchise, concerning the adventures of bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau (played by Peter Sellers) and his attempts to locate the Pink Panther diamond. The film also introduced the cartoon character of the same name, in an opening credits sequence animated by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. In fy|2006 MGM released a new film with the same title, based on the series, starring Steve Martin as Clouseau.

"The Pink Panther" was shot in Italy, Paris,France, and Los Angeles, California. It was originally released theatrically by United Artists, and is now available on VHS and DVD from MGM Home Entertainment. The Technirama film was shot in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1 in Technicolor. Promotional taglines for the initial release included "A Madcap Frolic Of Crime and Fun" and "You only live once, so see "The Pink Panther" twice!" The film is number 62 on Bravo's list of "100 Funniest Movies".

Plot

As a child, Lugash princess Dala's father gives her as a gift the largest diamond in the world, the Pink Panther. The huge pink diamond has an unusual flaw: if one stares into the stone long enough, one can see what appears to be the image of a leaping panther; hence the name. Viewers watch as this image comes to life and participates in the credits. When Dala is a young woman, rebels in her home country have seized power and are demanding possession of the jewel, but the princess refuses to hand it over.

Dala (Claudia Cardinale} relaxes on holiday, in an exclusive skiing resort in Cortina d'Ampezzo, where noted British capitalist Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven), who leads a secret life as a jewel thief called "The Phantom", has his eyes on the Pink Panther. His American playboy nephew, George (Robert Wagner), follows his uncle to the resort in an attempt to steal the jewel and blame it on the Phantom, not knowing that the Phantom is his uncle.

On the Phantom's trail is French police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers)of the Sûreté, whose wife Simone (Capucine)(unknown to him) is the paramour of Charles and helper in the Phantom's crimes. Clouseau tries to stop the theft attempts, but he is so clueless and clumsy that when several attempts are made at a fancy-dress party, he looks everywhere but the right place. Throughout the film, scenes at the skiing resort's hotel show Madame Clouseau dodging her husband while trying both to carry out Sir Charles' plans and to avoid George, who is enamoured of her.

In spite of himself, the buffoonish inspector captures Sir Charles and his accomplices. Conviction looks inevitable until Dala and Simone hatch a plan to frame Clouseau. The defense calls a surprised Clouseau to the stand as their lone witness. The barrister asks a series of questions that suggest Clouseau himself could be the Phantom. The unnerved Clouseau pulls his handkerchief out of his shirt pocket - to which is attached the jewel (planted there by Mme. Clouseau).

As Clouseau is being driven away to prison, a regretful Simone expresses fears that he will rot in prison. Sir Charles points out that "it takes years for people to rot; and when the Phantom strikes again, he'll be free as a bird." In the police car, the officers tell Clouseau as "The Phantom", he is a "national hero" and a sex idol for millions of young women. They ask him, with some deference, how he had committed all those robberies, he smiles a little and says, "Well, you know... it wasn't easy."

The cartoon character of the Pink Panther then closes the film. Because of Clouseau's popularity among viewers, the sequel "A Shot in the Dark" was rewritten to include him, having been originally intended to create a series of movies for David Niven's character, the Phantom. Later during the same year, the animated Pink Panther character got his own series of animated shorts.

Cast

*David Niven as Sir Charles Lytton
*Peter Sellers as Insp. Jacques Clouseau
*Robert Wagner as George Lytton
*Capucine as Simone Clouseau
*Brenda De Banzie as Angela Dunning
*Colin Gordon as Tucker
*John Le Mesurier as Defense attorney
*James Lanphier as Saloud
*Guy Thomajan as Artoff
*Michael Trubshawe as Felix Townes
*Riccardo Billi as Aristotle Sarajos
*Meri Welles as Monica Fawn
*Martin Miller as Pierre Luigi
*Fran Jeffries as Greek cousin
*Claudia Cardinale as Princess Dala

Miscellany

* Claudia Cardinale could not speak English, and all her lines were dubbed. She has since learned to speak English fluently.
* The role of Clouseau was originally offered to Peter Ustinov. Ustinov dropped out days before shooting commenced. Upset by this, Blake Edwards sued Ustinov, and won.
* The film is the only "Pink Panther" movie made by Blake Edwards which does not star Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk, or Graham Stark.
* The sequel "A Shot in the Dark" was released only three months after "The Pink Panther" was finished.
* Ava Gardner was originally offered the role of Madame Clouseau, but her salary demands were considered unacceptable and the role was offered to Capucine instead.
* Capucine was offered the role of Madame Clouseau after her friend, Audrey Hepburn, suggested her to Blake Edwards. Audrey Hepburn had worked with Edwards on "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and had been friends with Capucine for many years.
* At the beginning of the film, as Madame Clouseau runs through a hotel lobby while fleeing the police, a monk can briefly be seen in the background, signing the ledger. Judging by the distinctive color of his robe, it is likely that he was (or was supposed to be) a Capuchin monk, a play on the actress' name, Capucine.

oundtrack album

The soundtrack album was released on RCA Victor, and consisted of music written by Henry Mancini, performed by his orchestra, and featured in the film.

*All songs written by Henry Mancini, except where noted.

ide one

# "The Pink Panther Theme" - 2:35
# "It Had Better Be Tonight ("Meglio Stasera")" (Instrumental) - 1:44
# "Royal Blue" - 3:09
# "Champagne and Quail" - 2:45
# "The Village Inn" - 2:34
# "The Tiber Twist" - 2:47

ide two

# "It Had Better Be Tonight ("Meglio Stasera")" (Vocal) (Henry Mancini - Johnny Mercer) - 1:56
# "Cortina" - 1:52
# "The Lonely Princess" - 2:25
# "Something for Sellers" - 2:45
# "Piano and Strings" - 2:34
# "Shades of Sennett" - 1:22

The "Pink Panther" film series

* "The Pink Panther" (1963; USA release date 1964)
* "A Shot in the Dark" (1964)
* "Inspector Clouseau" (1968) (stars Alan Arkin as Clouseau, and not directed by Edwards)
* "The Return of the Pink Panther" (1975) (with Sellers and Edwards back)
* "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (1976)
* "Revenge of the Pink Panther" (1978)
* "Trail of the Pink Panther" (1982) (features the now deceased Peter Sellers by using clips from previous films)
* "Curse of the Pink Panther" (1983) (in which Clouseau has conveniently gone missing and returns in the form of an uncredited Roger Moore)
* "Son of the Pink Panther" (1993) (starring Roberto Benigni as Inspector Clouseau, Jr.)
* "The Pink Panther" (2006) (starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau.)
* "The Pink Panther 2" (2009)

External links

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