Review by Brian Koller|
No Rating Supplied
"The Pink Panther" is a light comedy, with strong romantic,
fashion, and slapstick elements. While some scenes are
funny, as a whole the film doesn't quite come off.
There are problems with casting and characters and dialogue,
and overall shallowness.
David Niven stars as a man leading a double life: suave
playboy Sir Charles and a jewel thief known as 'The Phantom'.
His conquests include two women half his age, Simone (Capucine)
and Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale). Both these women
have apparently been cast for their looks and their accents.
Simone is also the wife of police detective Inspector Clouseau
(Peter Sellers) a bumbling fool who is hot on the trail of
Much of the film takes place in a hotel bedroom, with Sellers
attempting to seduce his wife, who must gently parry his
unwanted advances while keeping him in the dark about Niven's
double identity. To make her job even more difficult,
Robert Wagner shows up as Niven's nephew, with his uncle's
personality traits of smugness, seduction and thievery.
Capucine must tease and mislead him as well, but as he is
more sharp than Sellers, matters begin to unravel.
Sellers, of course, plays Inspecter Clouseau well, but
not all of his gags are funny, such as when he burns
"The Pink Panther" is notable for introducing the Clouseau
character, which Sellers played in a series of sequels
until his untimely death. The later films are centered
around Clouseau and not the criminals that he is ineptly
The film was nominated for one Academy Award, for Henry
Mancini's inspired jazz score. While the title refers
to a 'priceless' jewel, it has become associated with
the score and the cartoon panther character, who shows
up in the opening and closing credits. The Pink Panther
later became the star of a cartoon show, and for a while
even had his own breakfast cereal (it was really gross:
it made the milk turn pink). Sadly, the Pink Panther has
since been relegated to commercials for Owens Fiberglass.
Copyright © 1999 Brian Koller