Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Pink Panther (1963)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Pink Panther (1963)

In Blake Edwards' caper comedy - the first film that introduced the long-running comedy series, about an incomparable, bumbling, inept, trench-coated French police detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers):

  • in this particular tale which began with the title: "Once Upon a Time...," a priceless gem was presented to sultan Shah of Lugash's young daughter (who would later grow up to be beautiful Indian Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale)); the camera zoomed into the diamond; a slight discoloration flaw in the large pink diamond - a leaping panther - led it to be dubbed "The Pink Panther"
  • the feline cartoon character of the Pink Panther appeared to perform antics with the lettering during the introductory opening credits (this was the debut of the famous animated feline with his various funny antics) accompanied by Henry Mancini's classic jazzy-bluesy music
  • the film's twisting plot regarded the pinkish diamond - the object of desire by suave, white-monogrammed glove-dropping playboyish jewel thief Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) aka The Phantom, who had just recently struck again in Rome, Italy; Sir Lytton wished to steal the Pink Panther jewel from its owner - by romancing the adult Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), while helped by Clouseau's unfaithful wife Simone (Capucine) who was conspiring behind Clouseau's back (as Lytton's lover); everyone was staying at an exclusive Northern Italy ski resort where all the main characters were clamoring to get their hands on the 'Pink Panther' after rebels had taken over Lugash and demanded that the Princess turn over the jewel
  • the amusing character of bumbling, heavy French-accented Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers); he first appeared impatiently sitting at his desk in Paris; he rose, spun a huge world globe, glanced out the window, and confidently pronounced that they needed to find the first female "link" to the Phantom: "We must find that woman." He was swiftly thrown to the floor after touching the rotating globe a second time; just then, his wife Simone entered - the actual 'woman' in question; Clouseau was unaware that she was the Phantom's accomplice and lover, who often warned the robber about Clouseau's whereabouts
"We must find that woman!" (his own conspiring wife Simone)
Spinning Globe
  • the scene in Clouseau's bedroom with Simone, of the Inspector playing his expensive Stradivarius violin (after he stepped on it and destroyed it, he blithely quipped: "It's no matter. When you've seen one Stradivarius, you've seen them all") after numerous attempts to have sex with the very deceptive Simone (who was continuing to hide keep her duplicitous role a secret)
Sir Charles with Princess at Ski Resort
Sir Charles with Nephew George
  • the classic hide-and-seek scene in which Simone juggled two suitors in her resort bedroom: she had to divert Clouseau's attention from both Lytton and Lytton's American indebted playboy nephew George (Robert Wagner) (pretending to be a college graduate) who were hiding there - George in her bathtub in her bathroom, and Sir Charles under her bed; when Clouseau came into the room angrily asserting: "That phone call was a ruse", he stumbled onto the floor - as she asked: "Are you hurt, my darling?"; both Lyttons found it impossible to sneak out of the room
Both Lyttons Hiding in Simone's Bedroom Sequence
  • the costume-party scene in Dala's Roman villa, in which the bumbling detective wore a heavy suit of armor and chastised a Sergeant dressed in the zebra costume for wearing stripes: "How dare you drink whilst you're on duty!...Any more behavior like this, and I'll have your stripes!"
  • the scene of both Sir Charles and George robbing a safe in similar gorilla costumes (a take-off of the Duck Soup (1933) mirror scene), and finding the safe empty; when discovered by Clouseau at the crime scene, they escaped and a wild car chase scene ensued through Rome's streets until all the vehicles collided into one another and created a big pile-up
  • both of the Lyttons were incarcerated, and George admitted his dishonesty in pretending to be a college grad; his father reacted: "A certain amount of dishonesty is bound to beget a certain amount of dishonesty"; Clouseau spoke to both jailed inmates and accidentally put both of his fists into pots of porridge as he threatened them: "You're going to be here for the next 20 years"
  • in the film's conclusion, Princess Dala (who had stolen the diamond for herself) and Simone hatched a plan to frame Clouseau as 'The Phantom' and save Sir George (Dala: "I'd gladly sacrifice it to save Charles...To save Charles, we must prove that someone else stole it")
  • at the end of the trial, Clouseau was called to testify on the stand as a defense witness; he was implicated in all of the thefts, and possibly guilty because Simone had purchased expensive clothes and a mink coat; as Clouseau pulled out his handkerchief, attached to it was the jewel planted there by Simone - implicating him as the Phantom; on his way to jail, he was swarmed by women and envied by two Italian policemen who believed that he was the Phantom and now a national hero; when asked: "Tell me, lnspector, Signor Phantom, all those robberies, how did you ever manage it?", Clouseau delightfully took credit and admitted: "Well, you know, it wasn't easy"

The Flaw in the Pink Diamond - a "Pink Panther"

Opening Credits

"The Phantom" Strikes in Europe (Rome)

Gem in High Demand

Clouseau's Broken Stradivarius

Costume Party

Two Lytton Gorilla Thieves Stealing From Dala's Safe

Vehicle Collision Pile-Up

Both Lyttons in Jail

Both Fists Placed in Pots of Porridge

During the Lytton Trial, Clouseau Was Framed as the Phantom Jewel Thief

Clouseau: "Well, you know, it wasn't easy"


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