Pink Panther Film Collection
Curse of the Pink Panther was released just after Trail of the Pink Panther with a script that has someone looking for the inept Inspector Clousseau and the fabulous stolen Pink Panther diamond at the same time. In Curse, Clifton Sleigh (Ted Wass) is a New York retread of the bumbling Inspector, chosen to look for him by Clousseau's former boss because Sleigh most certainly will never find him. Although peppered with a few inventive stunts, Curse still falls short of the Sellers classics. In a bizarre side note, David Niven was himself terminally ill at the time of his appearance in Trail of the Pink Panther and unable to speak adequately. His voice was dubbed in by impressionist Rich Little.Most Inspector Clouseau fans regard The Pink Panther Strikes Again as the best of the clumsy Parisian detective's "comeback" films of the 1970s. Driven insane by the stupidities of Clouseau (Peter Sellers), ex-inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) transforms into a master criminal. Kidnapping the inventor of a death ray, Dreyfuss threatens to use the demon device indiscriminately unless Clouseau is offered as a "sacrifice." A hunted man, Clouseau is forced to adopt one transparent (but hilarious) disguise after another. He is rescued from being incinerated by Dreyfuss when Soviet spy Olga (Leslie Ann Down) falls in love with him and strives to protect him.In Revenge of the Pink Panther, for the final time, the bumbling but imperturbable Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) maddens his long-suffering boss Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), sharpens his wits and martial skills with his manservant Cato (Burt Kwouk) and foils the bad guys without ever having a clue about what he is doing. In the story, Clouseau allows a gang of drug racketeers to believe that he has been assassinated and dons a series of disguises as he travels all over the world in order to apprehend the culprits. He is assisted by Simone Legree (Dyan Cannon), the former girlfriend of the drug-lord Douvier (Robert Webber). Though it received a very mixed reception from critics, this, the fifth of the Pink Panther series, did very well at the box-office. Sadly, it was actor Peter Sellers' final screen appearance before his death in 1980 (the later film, The Trail of Pink Panther was composed of outtakes from previous "Panther" films).A murder has been committed at the palatial Parisian residence of Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders). All the evidence points to sexy, wide-eyed housemaid Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer). Police inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) is prepared to make an arrest -- and then the gloriously, monumentally inept Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) arrives on the scene. Clouseau may have difficulty getting through the day without falling into ponds, knocking people cold with opened doors, and pocketing flaming cigarette lighters, but his instincts are right on target when he decides that Mme. Gambrelli is being framed by someone else in the Ballon household. Even as the murder victims pile up, Clouseau is determined to prove Mme. Gambrelli's innocence. As he cuts a bumbling, destructive swath through Paris, Clouseau drives Dreyfuss literally insane. This fact leads to the literally explosive climax, and to the ultimate vindication of Mme. Gambrelli. While we first met Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, Shot in the Dark is the film that truly established the Clouseau mythos: the festive clumsiness, the convoluted dialogue ("You shot him in a rit of fealous jage!"), the Fractured French ("A beump on zee head!"), the twitching lunacy of poor Inspector Dreyfuss, the unexpected "judo lessons" of Clouseau's houseboy Kato (Burt Kwouk), and of course the hilariously macabre jokes involving dead or seriously injured bystanders. You'd never know it, but A Shot in the Dark was inspired by a standard three-act stage comedy by Harry Kurnitz, which in turn was adapted from the French play L'Idiote by Marcel Achard.Two years after the death of Peter Sellers, Blake Edwards tried to exhume his corpse in this pastiche of clips and out-takes from the old Pink Panther films. The plot concerns the legendary "Pink Panther" diamond which is once more stolen. Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is again enlisted to find the stolen bauble. When he follows the trail of the diamond to another country, he leaves on an airplane that is soon reported missing. Television reporter Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley) then sets out to interview old acquaintances and associates of Clouseau, including Lady Litton (Capucine), Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) and Sir Charles Litton (David Niven), who recall their experiences with the bumbling inspector.After the death of Peter Sellers in 1980, writer/director Blake Edwards assembled a new "Pink Panther" film from outtakes of Sellers as Inspector Clouseau from previous movies in the series (the result was called The Trail of the Pink Panther) and later made two attempts to revive the series with another actor. In this case, Edwards cast Roberto Benigni as Jacques Gambrelli, a hopelessly inept French policeman who turns out the be the illegitimate son of Inspector Clouseau. Gambrelli becomes involved with the investigation of a kidnapping involving the beautiful Princess Yasmin (Debrah Farentino) literally by accident, when he crashes into a car driven by Police Commissioner Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). Gambrelli soon becomes smitten with Yasmin, while the investigation suggests that the kidnapping was set up by her mother, the Queen (Shabana Azmi), and her lover, General Jaffar (Aharon Ipale). Claudia Cardinale who played a different character in the original Pink Panther returns, while Burt Kwouk returns as the violent Korean manservant Cato. Roberto Benigni's Gambrelli proved no more successful at the box office than Ted Wass's Clouseau-like Clifton Sleigh in The Curse of the Pink Panther (1983), though after his multiple-Oscar winning success with 1998's La Vita e Bella, Roberto's probably gotten over it.In the first in a series of detective comedies from director Blake Edwards starring Peter Sellers as bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the mishap-prone snoop is actually a supporting player. David Niven stars as Sir Charles Litton, a suave jewel thief known as "The Phantom." Vacationing in a deluxe Alpine resort, Litton's real purpose is to purloin the Pink Panther, a gem of enormous worth owned by a princess (Claudia Cardinale). On his trail for years, Inspector Clouseau keeps losing his quarry, perhaps because his wife Simone (Capucine) is Litton's lover and alerts him every time her husband draws near. Also after the Panther is Litton's American nephew, George (Robert Wagner). At a posh costume ball at the princess' villa, the bauble is stolen and Clouseau, still trying to determine the bandit's identity, is framed for the crime himself. The Pink Panther made Sellers and his Clouseau act so popular that the character moved to center stage in a series of farcical sequels.