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Pink Panther

The Pink Panther refers to:
  • A series of films, mostly featuring Peter Sellers as a bumbling French policeman
  • The diamond referred to in the film.
  • A series of animated shorts spun off after use in the titles of the films
  • the cartoon character of the Pink Panther itself, seen in both of the above

Table of contents

Films The films initially starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and were directed by Blake Edwards. The theme music is by Henry Mancini. The Pink Panther of the title is a diamond supposedly flawed in a way that forms the image of pink panther. The diamond was stolen in the first film (but the panther was never shown). The diamond is never subsequently referred to, but the name stuck because of the distinctive animated character of a pink panther seen in the opening credits of the first film.

  • The Pink Panther (1963)
  • A Shot In The Dark (1964)
  • Inspector Clouseau (1968) (stars Alan Arkin as Clouseau, and not directed by Edwards)
  • The Return Of The Pink Panther (1974) (with Sellars and Edwards back)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
  • Revenge Of The Pink Panther (1978)
  • Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) (features the now late Peter Sellers by using clips from previous films)
  • Curse Of The Pink Panther (1983) (in which Clouseau has conveniently gone missing)
  • Son Of The Pink Panther (1993) (starring Roberto Benigni)

Characters

Inspector Clouseau

A bumbling cretin who believes himself to be a detective genius. Inexplicably speaks in English with a ludicrous French accent, while other French characters around him speak in a normal English accent.

Sheer luck or clumsiness usually saves him: for example in one film assassins from all over the world are sent to kill him. Clouseau bends down to tie his shoelace, falls over, etc, at just the right moment to ensure that the killers attempts strike other assassins.

Played by Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin

Dreyfuss

Clouseau's superior, who is eventually driven insane by his intolerance for Clouseau's stupidity. One film ends with him straight-jacketed in a padded cell writing "Kill Clouseau" on the wall with his feet. Attempts to take over the world for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the death of Clouseau.

Played by Herbert Lom[?]

Kato

Clouseau's manservant, and an expert in martial arts. It's unclear whether he believes Clouseau is a great detective or merely humours him. It is a running joke that he is required to attack Clouseau when he least expects it, to keep Clouseau's combat skills and vigilance sharp. One memorable scene has Clouseau stealthily search the entire apartment on returning from grocery shopping; not finding Kato, he opens the fridge. The location of Kato is left to the reader's imagination.

Played by Burt Kwouk[?]. External Links

  • web site (http://www.pink-panther-films.com/) that features a selection of lines, stills, and memorable scenes from the films.
Cartoons The Pink Panther animated shorts were directed by Friz Freleng. Originally they were created for the opening of the Blake Edwards series of films, but they were soon spun off in their own series, sometimes with the animated version of Clouseau as foil. The cartoon series was initially produced for theatrical release, and the 1964 animated short film The Pink Phink won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film (Freleng's third Oscar). The series eventually moved to television, with a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Think Pink Panther Show producing a number of additional Pink Panther cartoons. It also added episodes starring other characters including The Ant and the Aardvark and Mr. Jaws and Catfish.

In the early series of Pink Panther cartoons, the Panther was largely silent, speaking only once. In a later series of cartoons the Panther starred with his sons Pinky, Panky, and Punky. A third series of cartoons had the Pink Panther speaking with the voice of Matt Frewer.



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