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The Pink Panther
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Sellers is Inspector Clouseau of the Paris police, a complete bungler whose wife is two-timing him with the very jewel thief he's been assigned to catch.
Genre: Feature Film-Comedy
Release Date: 14-AUG-2001
Media Type: DVD
The history of film comedy would have been much altered if Peter Ustinov had stayed in the role of Jacques Clouseau, the bumbling French police inspector in The Pink Panther. But Ustinov dropped out, the role went to Peter Sellers, and a classic character was born: suspicious, blundering, with a pompous little mustache and a sometimes impenetrable accent, Clouseau was always one step behind everybody else in the room. The Pink Panther introduced Clouseau hot on the trail of a famous jewel thief (David Niven), who may be planning to make off with an expensive gem known as the Pink Panther. Set in a European ski resort, this bubbly comedy is a wonderful dose of '60s style, from the famous Henry Mancini theme music to the presence of two of Europe's top sex symbols of the era, Claudia Cardinale and Capucine. The film also introduced the popular cartoon Pink Panther, slinking around to Mancini's music in an animated credits sequence. The film's success brought a follow-up, A Shot in the Dark, also released in 1964; after 11 years, Sellers and top comedy director Blake Edwards (10) returned with three more sequels. --Robert Horton
- 8-page booklet featuring the cast and crew's uproarious on-and-off-camera antics
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The movies themselves are of varying quality. The sixth movie "Trail of the Pink Panther" made after Sellers' death adds little new material from Sellers himself and the very thin story line makes this rather boring and frankly can safely be skipped. I always thought that the first movie, "The Pink Panther" was the least funny and watching it again there's nothing to change my mind. The romantic scenes between David Niven and half-his-age Claudia Cardinale are just embarrassing. However, when Sellers is on screen the movie jumps to a new level and Capucine as Clouseau's wife gives a good performance. "A Shot in the Dark" takes the name, a bit of story, some characters and not much else from the Achard/Kurnitz play. It introduces the famous characters that would feature in most of the rest of the series played by Herbert Lom, Bert Kwouk and Graham Stark. In particular, I think Stark's performance as Clouseau's assistant is a brilliant example of comedic understatement. This and the next three Pink Panther films, Return, Strikes Again and Revenge really represent the incredible comedy that Sellers and Edwards created despite their differences. By the end, they are starting to look a little formulaic when seen all together but there is still a lot that is very funny.
Shout Select has also added some interesting interviews and documentaries around the making of the films.
Seeing the great skill of Sellers at work along with tremendous support from actors like Lom, Kwouk and Stark is certainly worth the price of this high quality collection.
who take themselves so seriously