Why it’s famous:
As one of Peter Sellers’ most notorious comedies, this ridiculous, politically incorrect, and sometimes painfully awful comedy, set to the unforgettable Academy Award-nominated music by the famous Henry Mancini, was the first of a series of films that influenced many aspiring comedians. Sellers’ performance as the imbecilic Inspector Clouseau is a staple of American comedy that remains just as hilarious today as it was in the early ‘60s.
Inspector Jacques Clouseau: Ah well, if you’ve seen one Stradivarius, you’ve seen them all.
Woman: Take your filthy hands off my asp!
Why you haven’t seen it:
If you saw anything that came out in the last 10 years associated with The Pink Panther franchise, you would be justified in being completely turned off by the series. Steve Martin, we love you, but please, stop.
Why it might be tough to get through:
In terms of political incorrectness, this one is off the charts. By today’s standards it is eye-rollingly, face-palmingly insupportable and would probably fail every single PC movie test out there.
Why you should see it anyway:
The Pink Panther is one of those rare classic comedies that remains hilarious in 2015. The incompetent trips, falls, and breaks of Sellers’ clumsy Inspector Clouseau make for lovely slapstick comedy that blends with the quippy dialogue and phoney accents. Bechdel test aside, it’s a must-see, ideally when you’re having an awful day and just need a reminder that you aren’t the human embodiment of clumsiness.
- The film was created to have Sir Charles Lytton as the main character, but Peter Sellers’ portrayal of Inspector Clouseau was so loved by the crew that he became the main character for the film and the subsequent sequels.
- Claudia Cardinale could not speak English, so Princess Dala’s dialogue was dubbed by Gale Garnett.