Back to where to where it all began in 1963. Whilst The Pink Panther franchise is American it did star one of Britain’s most brilliant comic actors Peter Sellers, the franchise would go on to be recognised as one of the funniest series of films in cinema history. Peter Sellers plays the hopeless Inspector Clouseau with perfect comic timing.
Up until 2011 eleven of these movies have been made, nine in the original series, of which Peter Sellers starred in five, but most people feel that none live up to the standard of the originals with Peter Sellers.
As a child, Princess Dala receives a gift from her Father, the Shah of Lugash: the Pink Panther, the largest diamond in the world. This huge pink gem has an unusual flaw: looking deeply into the stone, you think you can see a tiny discoloration that resembles a leaping panther.
When the Princess is a young woman, rebels seize power in Lugash and then demand possession of the jewel, but the exiled Princess refuses to hand it over.
Years later Dala is relaxing at at an exclusive holiday resort, unaware that well known British playboy (and part time jewel thief known as The Phantom) Sir Charles Lytton is watching. He intends to steal the Pink Panther, but he’s not the only one Sir Charles nephew George Lytton has the same idea, but he intends to put The Phantom in the frame.
When the Diamond goes missing the bumbling Inspector Clouseau is assigned to trail The Phantom and retrieve the diamond. Clouseau is hopeless and lurches from one comic disaster to another in his attempts to solve the case.
Although we would see the return of Clouseau a year later in A shot In The Dark, The Pink Panther does not crop up again for 12 years.
David Niven – Sir Charles Lytton
Peter Sellers – Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Robert Wagner – George Lytton
Capucine – Simone Clouseau
Claudia Cardinale – Princess Dana
Written By: Blake Edwards and Maurice Richlin
Produced By: Martin Jurow
Directed By: Blake Edwards
Music By: Henry Mancini
UK Release Date: 9th January 1964