April 27, 2005

The Pink Panther (1963)

pinkpantherThe intention was to start a franchise for David Niven as suave ladies' man/cat burglar Sir Charles Litton. However, Peter Sellers, a little-known British comic, was a late addition to the cast after Peter Ustinov dropped out. Sellers proceeded to steal the movie in the role of Inspector Clouseau, the French detective who cannot catch the notorious thief who's sleeping with his wife right next door. Inspector Clouseau would become the franchise, and nine Clouseau films would follow between 1964 and 2005. All of the following were directed by Blake Edwards, except numbers 3 and 10:
  1. The Pink Panther (1963)
  2. A Shot In The Dark (1964)
  3. Inspector Clouseau (1968), starring Alan Arkin as Clouseau.
  4. Return of the Pink Panther (1975), with Christopher Plummer in the role of Sir Charles Litton.
  5. The Pink Panther diamond has no role in The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), but the name had become so synonymous with Clouseau, the name was used anyway.
  6. Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) is Sellers's final legit appearance as Clouseau. Peter Sellers died in 1980 at age 54. David Niven returns as Litton for this movie and "Trail" in 1982. Niven would pass away (ALS) in 1983.
  7. Peter Sellers's scenes in Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) consist of outtakes and unused scenes from previous Clouseau movies.
  8. Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) is a bizarre attempt to create a new Clouseau-like character.
  9. Son of the Pink Panther (1993), starring Academy Award winner Roberto Benigni.
  10. The Pink Panther (2005), starring Steve Martin as Clouseau.