the pink panther

the year: 1963

the genre: comedy. definitely.

the cast: David Niven (Sir Charles Lytton); Peter Sellers (Insp. Jacques Clouseau); Robert Wagner (George Lytton); Capucine (Simone Clouseau); Claudia Cardinale (Princess Dahla)

the plot: Inspector Clouseau is an expert on the exploits of The Phantom, a renowned jewel thief. He feels sure he knows where The Phantom will strike next and leaves Paris for Switzerland, where the famous Lugashi jewel 'The Pink Panther' is going to be. Vacationing at the deluxe Alpine resort, Sir Charles Lytton (The Phantom, of course) is indeed on the trail of the jewel - and although Clouseau has been after him for years, he is able to escape (perhaps because Clouseau's wife is Litton's lover and alerts him every time her husband draws near). Throw the gem's owner, Princess Dala, and Lytton's American nephew, George, in the mix and let the fun begin.

don't miss: the car chase. Classic Blake Edwards.

count: the gorillas.

check out: the disappearing cigarette when Princess Dala collapses on the rug.

did you know: Peter Ustinov was originally selected for the role of Inspector Clouseau?

listen for: "Simone! Where is my Surété-Scotland-Yard-type mackintosh?"

extra bonus points: if you know where Peter Sellers got the idea for his portrayal of Clouseau.

also listen for: "At times like this, I wish I was but a simple peasant."

did you also know: the film was intended to have David Niven's character Sir Charles Lytton as the main character. However, Peter Sellers' portrayal of Inspector Clouseau was so loved by the crew (and later by the audience) it became his character this film and the sequels focused on.


Erika said...

It's hard to imagine it any differently, but if anyone else could pull of Clouseau, it would be Peter Ustinov.

Millie Motts said...

Agreed. I'm feeling the need to track down more Ustinov genius.

Answer: Sellars based Clouseau on the trademark of a box of matches which included an image of Captain Matthew Webb, who in 1875 became the first person to swim the English Channel.