Directed by Blake Edwards
Music by Henry Mancini
Running time: 113 minutes
A jewel thief plans to steal the Pink Panther, the world’s largest diamond, from Princess Dala of Lugash. Bumbling French police inspector Jacques Clouseau intends to catch the mysterious thief known only as The Phantom.
I’d never seen any Pink Panther movies before watching this a few months ago. I figured it best to start with the first one. I also have no experience with Peter Sellers beyond Dr Strangelove (which is awesome). So, I’m probably the worst person in the world to review this. Or… Maybe the best depending on how you look at it! I’m a virgin to Clouseau. (Huh?)
I have to make these reviews shorter or I’ll never finish up my 2013 movies in 2013. I enjoyed The Pink Panther. It’s SO of its time, though! A young person today wouldn’t go for this swinging 60s film. The pace is VERY slow and we get this long musical number in the middle of it that I fell asleep during at least three times so I had to keep rewinding. I admit that I watched this over a couple of nights – it does get dull in places (Oh no! It’s a classic! Have I pissed anyone off??).
This is deservedly a classic, though. It has a great 1963 look & feel plus, of course, it brought us the (some would say genius) character of Jacques Clouseau. And the Henry Mancini score MUST also be mentioned – who doesn’t know The Pink Panther Theme?! Finally, this movie also introduced us to the cartoon character of The Pink Panther in a fantastic opening credits segment (I’ll put the YouTube link to that at the end of the review). The Pink Panther diamond got its name because it’s a large pink gem that has a small flaw resembling a panther. The camera zooms into the diamond and the cartoon panther comes to life for the credits. Honestly, this was probably the best part of the whole movie to me. No, I didn’t know before seeing this JUST how the cartoon character had come to be.
So, already, this movie is very iconic thanks to Clouseau, the score & the opening credits. But David Niven, Robert Wagner, Capucine & Claudia Cardinale are also fabulous in this so I don’t think ALL credit can go to (some would say “the comedy genius of”) Peter Sellers. I especially liked the strong female leads! How refreshing. Of course, they’re naturally extremely sexy compared to the average looking older men, one of whom is a bumbling idiot (other than Robert Wagner who is REALLY handsome. Wow – I’d never seen him so young!). This never really changes in Hollywood – the women are always more attractive but at least these two women are very clever & strong lead characters. God, they really are sexy, though. Am I going on about this too much? I’m starting to worry myself a little. Honestly, women were SO much more attractive in the old days… Here they are – one hot & sultry and one cool & classy (give me this over Megan Fox any day):
This screwball comedy won’t be for everyone but it’s a great slice of the 1960s and very much worth a look for anyone who loves film & wants to experience the best from each decade.
My Rating: 7/10