This, the first of the exquisite Pink Panther series, is an amazing film. To know that originally Peter Ustinov was cast to play Jacques Clouseau as a straight, inept French detective is a sobering thought. After Ustinov dropped out, of course, Peter Sellers got the role and after consultation with Blake Edwards, decided to make him not only inept, but also bumbling and accident prone, a characterization that defines how we think of Clouseau today. This film is interesting in that since it is the first of the series it is interesting to see the origins of the character, and how different he is here than in later 'Panther' films. Here is clumsy and prone to pratfalls, but is less flamboyantly slapstick than in the later films.
The film also stars the wonderful David Niven, who plays the perfect suave English thief, and a very young Robert Wagner as his equally debonair nephew. Female stars are the beautiful Claudia Cardinale and Capucine, two of the top European actresses and models from the era.
The movie is a bit more sedate than the later films in the series, but still is one of the funniest movies of the sixties. 'A Shot In The Dark', also released in 1964, as the first sequel, began the transformation to the later formulas with additions such as the wonderful Herbert Lom. 'The Pink Panther' does introduce the animated 'Pink Panther' short for the first time, as well as the often imitated, never duplicated title theme. Other viewers will have their own favorite scenes, and the costume party is surely one of the highlights of the film, but for my money the best scenes in the film revolve around Clouseau trying to woo his wife by playing his Stradivarius violin, over many protestations. The look of pain on David Niven's face during his playing is worth the price of the film alone
If I were doing it today, I would buy this DVD as part of the multi DVD 'Pink Panther' set, where it also includes a few interesting bonuses such as a 'trivia track', which adds great tidbits about the film.
Peter Sellers was a comic genius, and the world still waits for another genius of his stature. I think we will be waiting a long, long time.
on February 26, 2011
Another reviewer has correctly observed that the Blu-ray has been produced not in the expected 2:35.1 ratio, but 2:20.1. (The review at Bluray.com noted that the aspect was 2:20.1, so this was not a surprise to me.) I own both the DVD and, more recently, the Blu-ray versions of this wonderful film. Doing a random comparison of scenes, it is clear that the Blu-ray version has been cropped very slightly at the top and/or bottom and at the sides. I did not detect any vertical stretching (noted by the other reviewer)in the scenes I observed. The Blu-ray is a handsome step up from the DVD in quality. IMDB indicates that Pink Panther prints were produced in both 2:20.1 and 2:35.1 Perhaps MGM had a reason for using a 2:20.1 print for the Blu-ray. In any event, I don't believe that it affects any critical content and the images are not distorted. This great comedy looks better than ever on Blu-ray.
on May 4, 2006
Those reviewers who claim that the original movie is not as funny as the later Cleauseau movies from the 70's are both right and wrong at the same time. It really depends upon what type of sense of humor the viewer has. The original movie does not involve all the non-stop slapstick that the later films did. In fact, the first movie is not really an Inspector Cleauseau movie. The inspector has limited screen time, which is good, because although Seller's depiction of the inspector is at all times magnificient, like all good things he is best in small doses. The later movies strained to make him constantly funny for 100 minutes, whereas he is given short, but very funny scenes in the original movie.
The Pink Panther was actually meant to be, and is, a sophisticated sexual farce, European style. The humor is more verbal and situational, less physical. And it is true the movie is liesurely paced, but that makes it all the more enjoyable. The later movies are frantic in comparison, assualting the viewer instead of seducing him.
Don't get me wrong, I like the later Pink Panther movies, and Sellers is aways fun to watch even when the writing for his character is not up to par. But I think the first move is more of a thinking man's comedy, with classic lines like "I'll have your stripes!" (said to a policeman at a masqerade ball who is in a zebra costume), or the lengthy scene in which David Niven and Robert Wagner are both in gorilla costumes driving their getaway convertible sports cars through the Italian countryside. My own opinion is that this is much more humorous than "I am an officer of the loo".
But each to their own tastes.
Taking this movie on its own, and not comparing it to later Pink Panther films, I like it for it's sophistication, it's 60's style class, for Mancini's incomperabe music and for the beautiful Claudia Cardinale.
on December 17, 1999
This first Pink Panther movie is as good as the next "A Shot in the Dark." Both are excellent films, with a sound story, a creatively hilarious and smart screenplay, a well-developed set of characters, and a unique style of filming that elevates "slapstick comedy" to the highest level of sophistication. there are so many quotable lines that are well-worth to write them down as you watch the movie. The soundtrack song "Meglio Stasera(It had better be tonight)"is excellent and written to fit perfectly into the theme and mood of the film. Fran Jeffries sings it very well to a crowd of people by a fireplace, and she is as delightful as this scene itself. Claudia Cardinale and Capucine show style and charm in their roles. The title sequence runs over 7 minutes and it is as good as the movie itself. The 60's represent, in my opinion, the highest point in fashion and general pop culture which truly reflects the highest level of sophistication and taste; in this context, this movie is one of the movies that best represent the 60's. I agree with the other viewer that this movie should figure in the 100 Best movies of any list. The DVD is great with the finest picture quality; check the trailer because it is hysterically comical and very original, not the case of modern movie trailers. This movie is ideal for a cozy evening with friends and your favorite martinis. I just wish there were a special DVD edition with Director Blake Edwards' commentary on separate track, and of others involved in the making of this masterpiece.
on January 10, 2012
The Pink Panther (Blu-ray) Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau a very amusing clumsy laughable Character always falling over himself, literally, as he tries to stop the crime. A funny Movie with many funny moments, it made me laugh a lot, it did get a little slow at times, overall a very entertaining Film. The Blu-ray Disc comes with many Special Features:
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Blake Edwards
Featurettes: The Pink Panther Story
Beyond the Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon
The Coolest Cat in Cortina: Robert Wagner
The Tip-Toe Life of a Cat Burglar: A Conversation with former Jewel Thief Bill Mason
Diamonds Beyond the Sparkle
All of them very interesting and enjoyable, the Blu-ray transfer is nicely done so is the sound and with a Beautiful Legendary Music Score by Henry Mancini that you will be humming for days. The Places and Scenery are excellent specially seen them in a Big Screen, it made me wanted to get and collect the other Pink Panther Films! ...Thank You D.D.
on September 9, 2013
The Pink Panther was by far one of the best comedies that nowadays is completely underrated. It was a clever look at some of the best acting of comedy legend, Peter Sellers, and one of the first films to establish the dry, goofy comedy that uses the best of it's artistic limitations. First, a little background...
Blake Edwards was pretty well known as a film director due to his work on Breakfast at Tiffany's, so Edwards and Maurice Richlin got together to create an improvised, sharp wit comedy about a stolen diamond, and the hilarity that ensues. Together, they created The Pink Panther, which reminds one that the title seems to be a parody of The Maltese Falcon. The film's story takes place in the mountains, where a thief, known as The Phantom, is lurking on the Princess Dala, who possesses the diamond. This thief is no more than a clean, slick, and charismatic man who's name is Sir Charles Lytton. However, a bumbling inspector is on the case to snatch the thief, and maybe solve one of the greatest mysteries of all his life. Yes, you guessed correctly, it's the lovable Inspector Clouseau . Others who are Included in the mystery are Charles Lytton's nephew and Simone, the wife of Clouseau.
Most people who think of The Pink Panther, think of the animated show. Which actually, is quite incredible by itself. One of the things with The Pink Panther franchise, is that people seem to love the sequels to this series, than the original that started it all. Pink Panther was never originally going to spawn sequels, it was just an original idea. The film, however became a cult hit somehow at the end of the sixties. Strange enough as it is, Peter Sellers would not star in another Panther film until 1975! Ten years after Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark came out! To be honest, I love the work Sellers does on the sequels, but I feel the first two films of this series were his signature work. Without the 1963 Panther, there wouldn't be any cartoon character of the kind, nor would there be any Clouseau at all. Maybe people should be grateful for this film because it inspired other comedians, including those of Monty Python.
There is a reason for all this disliking of the film. People have a tendency to have particular tastes for comedy. Most people prefer goofiness and lewdness. Then there is the group of people who appreciate dry, witty comedy. This type of comedy is appreciated by few. So, that's basically the reason why people don't care much for this film. It truly is a comedic masterpiece. All the scenes are timed rightly, and just the art direction, acting, music, and cartoon character really is what brings out this movie's full potential. I highly recommend this movie to dry comedy lovers. I know it's one of the best out there than what they have now.
on September 20, 2012
Again you can't go wrong with a Blu-ray movie, there is no problem with the quality the video and audio are almost perfect. I own the DVD and as always you can tell a difference from the DVD to Blu-ray. This movie is an classic movie with great comedy starring Peter Sellers, David Niven, Robert Wagner and Claudie Cardinale. The movie is presented in Widescreen and runs for about 115 mins. Overall I would recommend getting the Blu-ray version, if you can.
on February 6, 2006
When I went over to my friend Sam's birthday sleepover, a lot of stuff happened. Everyone teased me because of my height and bad swordsman skills (don't ask), I learned how to play poker, and also, we popped in a movie called THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN.
I, intrigued by the film, decided to investigate the series. Two months later, I then bought the boxed set with my allowance. I put in THE PINK PANTHER, and liked it alot. I especially loved Peter Sellers and David Niven's performance. Blake Edwards is the Alfred Hitchcock to comedy. I also loved the title sequence. The humor is focused more on Peter Sellers stupidity. It's sort of one of those movies that are hilarious, yet you never laugh-out-loud.
In all, great performances and decent direction make a great comedy.
- Ryan Michaels
- Nine-year old
- Further info restricted (requests of the parents)
on March 3, 2010
Someone at the telecine operator at MGM/UA must have been asleep when this gem of a movie was transferred to Blu-ray. Amazon states the aspect ratio as 2.35:1, which is the way this film is supposed to look. But the back of the Blu-ray package says 2.20:1, which is in fact the aspect ratio you get here. But the Technirama system should be 2.35:1, so what is the effect of all this? Well, the image on the Blu-ray has been vertically stretched, so all the actors have thinned - yes even all the famous cars used in the film look thinner than they should. What a pity, as the transfer apart from this mistake looks splendid.
on December 17, 2000
"The Pink Panther" is an elegant comedy. That's something they seem to have forgotten how to make, nowadays. It is nothing like the sophomoric stuff churned out by the likes of Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, et al. It is not about somebody's school days, there are no cheerleaders in it, nor is there anybody called "Dude" in it. Instead, "The Pink Panther" features David Niven as a charming jewel thief called "The Phantom", Claudia Cardinale as Princess Dala, owner of the world's largest diamond, Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, and Capucine as the Inspector's wife who just happens to also be the accomplice of "The Phantom".
Yes, as you may have guessed by now, this comedy actually has a plot. It also has lots of witty dialogue, some lovely European scenery, and Oscar-winning music by Henry Mancini. Even the animated credits were critically acclaimed, and the animated Pink Panther went on to a successful cartoon career. But don't think it's all style and finesse. There is also plenty of classic slapstick as well, most of it supplied by Sellers. It was this movie that introduced Inspector Clouseau (as played by Sellers) to the world. Sellers would go on to make several sequels in that role. Throw in a huge costume party with too many gorillas, a car chase, and a couple of busy evenings in the Inspector's Alpine hotel room, and you have a movie that manages to be both elegant and very funny at the same time. This should be in your video (or DVD) library.