The Pink Panther franchise is one of the most iconic and beloved series in film history. From its debut in 1963 with the original movie to its most recent installment in 2009, the Pink Panther has been a staple of comedy-mystery films for generations.
Inspector Clouseau’s misadventures have captivated audiences worldwide and left them laughing, guessing, and wanting more.
The films were mainly created by Blake Edwards and had theme music composed by Henry Mancini. Other forms of media, such as books, comic books, video games, and animated series, were later produced based on the elements and characters from the films.
With its unique blend of slapstick humor, witty dialogue, and clever mysteries, it’s no wonder why this franchise has become so popular over the years. In this blog post, we’ll look at all the Pink Panther movies in order and explore what makes them so unique.
All the Pink Panther Movies in Order of Release Date
- The Pink Panther (1963)
- A Shot in the Dark (1964)
- Inspector Clouseau (1968)
- The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
- Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
- Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
- Son of the Pink Panther (1993)
- The Pink Panther (2006)
- The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
‘The Pink Panther’ (1963)
“The Pink Panther” is a classic comedy film released in 1963, directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers, David Niven, and Robert Wagner. The plot revolves around the efforts of a gentleman jewel thief to heist a fabulous gem owned by a Muslim princess and the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s attempts to stop him.
The film is known for its witty dialogue, slapstick comedy, and elegant settings of upscale hotels and fancy parties. It is also remembered for its memorable characters: Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven), the suave jewel thief; Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), the beautiful Muslim princess; and Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), the bumbling French detective who is determined to catch Lytton.
“The Pink Panther” received critical acclaim due to the exceptional performances of the cast, especially Peter Sellers‘ portrayal of Inspector Clouseau. The film grossed $10.9 million in the United States and Canada and is considered one of Blake Edwards‘ best works, thanks to its witty dialogue, memorable characters, and clever direction. It rightfully deserves a spot among the greatest comedies in cinema history.
‘A Shot in the Dark’ (1964)
The 1964 comedy film “A Shot in the Dark” is directed by Blake Edwards and features Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau. It is the second movie in The Pink Panther series, and the plot revolves around Clouseau solving a murder case of a driver at Mr. Benjamin Ballon’s estate.
The story follows Clouseau as he attempts to prove that Maria Gambrelli, a beautiful parlor maid, is innocent of the crime despite all evidence pointing to her guilt. Along with his bumbling detective work, Clouseau must contend with his jealous boss Chief Inspector Dreyfus who is determined to see him fail.
The performances of Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer are both excellent, with Sellers’ comedic timing and physicality providing plenty of laughs throughout the movie. The cinematography and set design are also impressive, creating an atmosphere that perfectly captures the film’s tone. The use of sound and music helps to build tension during suspenseful moments while also providing comedic relief during lighthearted scenes.
The film did good business at the box office, collecting more than $12.3 million, and if you liked the first part, you would be more than happy to watch this one.
‘Inspector Clouseau’ (1968)
The 1968 film “Inspector Clouseau” is the third installment in the series. Blake Edwards did not direct the movie, unlike the previous films in the series. Henry Mancini did not compose its score, and Peter Sellers did not portray the title role.
It was directed by Bud Yorkin and starred Alan Arkin as the titular character. In this installment, the movie follows the story of Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a French inept and incompetent police detective whose investigations quickly turn to chaos. Despite his lack of judgment and skill, Clouseau manages to solve cases with the help of his assistant Cato Fong.
The director’s choices in terms of cinematography, humor, pacing, and script are all well-executed. The film has a lighthearted tone throughout that is maintained through the use of slapstick comedy. The pacing is just right – not too slow or fast – allowing viewers to take in all the jokes without feeling overwhelmed or bored.
The acting performances also contribute to the overall tone of the film. As Inspector Clouseau, Alan Arkin gives a memorable performance that perfectly captures his bumbling character’s personality. Its witty script and strong performances make it an enjoyable watch for both old fans and new viewers alike.
‘The Return of the Pink Panther’ (1975)
“The Return of the Pink Panther” is the fourth part in the series that also did great business at the box office, earning $75 million against its budget of $5 million. This installment is a classic slapstick comedy that follows Inspector Clouseau as he attempts to solve the mystery of the stolen Pink Panther diamond. This installment brings back Peter Sellers as the bumbling detective and Christopher Plummer as his nemesis Chief Inspector Dreyfus.
The plot of this movie is full of comedic hijinks and physical comedy. Clouseau’s antics are often too much for Dreyfus to handle, and it’s up to him to find out who stole the diamond before Dreyfus can take matters into his own hands. Along with Clouseau’s bumbling investigations, several other characters add to the humor and chaos of the movie. From an Italian Mafia boss to a French cabaret singer, each character adds a unique flavor to the story.
The performances from all involved are top-notch, with Peter Sellers delivering an iconic performance as Clouseau that critics have praised for decades. “The Return of the Pink Panther” is an absolute classic that everyone should watch at least once.
‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’ (1976)
“The Pink Panther Strikes Again” is a 1976 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. This is the fifth installment in the Pink Panther movies, which follows the misadventures of Clouseau as he attempts to solve various cases. In this movie, Clouseau must stop an evil mastermind from taking over the world with a powerful weapon.
The cast of characters includes notable actors such as Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Lesley-Anne Down, and Burt Kwouk. Sellers’ portrayal of Clouseau is one of his most iconic roles; his physical comedy and wit bring much humor to life throughout the movie. The other characters are also entertaining in their own right, providing plenty of laughs throughout the film.
“The Pink Panther Strikes Again” fits into the overall series by continuing to follow Clouseau’s misadventures as he attempts to solve cases. While it does not quite reach the level of its predecessors, it still provides plenty of comedic moments that fans have come to expect from this franchise. The pacing is relatively brisk, and numerous visual gags add to the comedy. With a budget of $6 million, the film did an excellent job, raking in $75 million at the box office.
‘Revenge of the Pink Panther’ (1978)
“Revenge of the Pink Panther” is a 1978 American comedy directed by Blake Edwards. The late great Edwards was known for his work on films such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and “Victor/Victoria.” “Revenge of the Pink Panther” follows Chief Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) as he fakes his death to track down the mystery man trying to kill him. The film also stars Dyan Cannon, Robert Webber, Burt Kwouk, Graham Stark, and Herbert Lom.
The plot revolves around French drug kingpin Philippe Douvier (Robert Webber), who decides to murder Chief Inspector Clouseau (Sellers) to prove that he still has power and control. Clouseau’s ex-girlfriend Simone (Dyan Cannon) assists him in apprehending the drug racketeers. Through disguises and comedic moments, Clouseau eventually succeeds in his mission.
Edwards’ direction helped bring out the best performances from the cast members, particularly Peter Sellers as Chief Inspector Clouseau. His talent for comedy shined through in this role and contributed significantly to the film’s success. Despite its quality and commercial success, it failed to reach blockbuster status due to competition from other movies released during that period.
‘Trail of the Pink Panther’ (1982)
“Trail of the Pink Panther,” a 1982 comedy-mystery film directed by Blake Edwards, is the seventh installment in the iconic Pink Panther series. This film faced the unique challenge of continuing the franchise’s legacy following the untimely death of its star, Peter Sellers, who portrayed the legendary Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
To honor Sellers’ memory and maintain continuity within the series, the film features previously unseen footage of the actor alongside a talented ensemble cast that includes Herbert Lom as Chief Inspector Dreyfus, Burt Kwouk as Clouseau’s loyal manservant Cato, and Joanna Lumley as journalist Marie Jouveat.
The storyline begins with the theft of the famous Pink Panther diamond, which leads to the disappearance of Inspector Clouseau while he is investigating the case. As news of Clouseau’s vanishing spreads, journalist Marie Jouvet embarks on a mission to uncover the truth behind his mysterious absence.
With a budget of approximately $6 million, “Trail of the Pink Panther” managed to gross around $9 million globally at the box office. While it was not the most financially successful entry in the series, the film’s unique approach to continuing Clouseau’s story in the absence of Peter Sellers stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the character and the franchise.
‘Curse of the Pink Panther’ (1983)
The movie “Curse of the Pink Panther,” released in 1983, is a comedy film that belongs to the Pink Panther series created by Blake Edwards in the 1960s. Following the death of Peter Sellers, who played Inspector Clouseau in the previous films, two more movies were produced. While the previous movie “Trail of the Pink Panther” used unused footage of Sellers, “Curse of the Pink Panther” attempted to relaunch the series with a new character named Clifton Sleigh, an American detective assigned to search for the missing Inspector Clouseau.
Roger Moore made a brief appearance as Clouseau in the film’s finale. This was David Niven‘s last film before he passed away two weeks before its release. Herbert Lom reprised his role as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus for the sixth time in this film.
The movie features an all-star cast, including David Niven, Robert Wagner, Capucine, Herbert Lom, and Burt Kwouk. The performances are well done and bring plenty of laughs throughout. “Curse of the Pink Panther” is worth watching if you’re looking for lighthearted entertainment. While it may not be as iconic as some other movies in this franchise, it still offers plenty of laughs throughout its runtime and should not be overlooked by fans of classic comedies.
‘Son of the Pink Panther’ (1993)
“Son of the Pink Panther” is a comedy directed by Blake Edwards in 1993. The film features Roberto Benigni playing the role of Jacques Gambrelli, the illegitimate son of Inspector Clouseau. The plot revolves around Jacques’ attempts to rescue Princess Yasmin from Hans Zarba, who has kidnapped her to steal the sacred Pink Panther diamond. During his mission, Jacques interacts with Police Commissioner Charles Dreyfus, who is reminded of his past rival, Inspector Clouseau.
The movie’s setting is mostly in the mythical Islamic nation of Lugash, where the Pink Panther diamond is a sacred relic. The plotline follows Jacques’ journey as he attempts to save Princess Yasmin while learning more about his father and his legacy. The characters are well-developed throughout the movie, with each character having their unique traits and motivations for their actions.
Overall, “Son of the Pink Panther” is an enjoyable movie that succeeds in its goal of providing comedic entertainment for audiences. I recommend audiences watch this movie if they are looking for a lighthearted comedy film with some interesting themes throughout its story.
‘The Pink Panther’ (2006)
After thirteen years after the pink panther films, “The Pink Panther” was released as a reboot of the Pink Panther movie series. Starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau, the movie follows the bumbling detective as he attempts to solve a murder mystery involving a stolen diamond known as the Pink Panther. Along with Martin, the cast includes Kevin Kline, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, and Beyoncé Knowles.
The movie is full of colorful characters and slapstick humor that will keep viewers laughing throughout. Martin’s performance as Inspector Clouseau is noteworthy; his faux French accent and comedic timing are spot-on. His interactions with other characters are often hilarious and provide some of the movie’s best moments.
“The Pink Panther” is an enjoyable comedy that pays homage to its predecessor while standing on its own two feet. While it may not be as iconic or memorable as the original film, it still provides plenty of laughs and entertainment value for viewers looking for a lighthearted comedy. It’s worth recommending to anyone looking for a fun movie night with friends or family.
‘The Pink Panther 2’ (2009)
Directed by Harald Zwart, the second part of the 2006 film was released in 2009. It is the eleventh installment in the original Pink Panther series and stars Steve Martin as chief inspector Jacques Clouseau, who teams up with a squad of international detectives to stop a notorious jewel thief specializing in stealing priceless artifacts.
“The Pink Panther 2” movie can be considered both a sequel and a standalone movie, as it features some of the same characters from the previous installment but also introduces new characters and plot points. The acting performances are mostly good, with Steve Martin delivering an especially memorable performance as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. The direction is solid, with good cinematography and special effects that help bring the story to life. The pacing is generally smooth, though some discontinuities affect it at times.
However, the movie did not do much at the box office and only earned $76 million against its budget of $70 million. But if you are looking to revisit the world of the Pink Panther or if you want to laugh at Clouseau’s antics, this is a fun movie to watch.
In conclusion, “The Pink Panther” movie franchise has left an indelible mark on comedy and mystery films. Spanning over five decades and multiple installments, these movies have entertained and delighted audiences with their unique blend of slapstick humor, intriguing mysteries, and unforgettable characters.
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