Friday, November 25, 2011

Dreaming of... The Pink Panther

Dreaming of Blake Edward's "The Pink Panther" always makes me happy because it is purrfection! Awake or asleep, dreaming about or watching this movie makes me 100% happy.

First, there are the opening credits and the Henry Mancini theme song. Oh my, how much fun are they and, how delighted were you when you first saw them? And who doesn't know that theme song?
Next, the cast. Wow - a 1960s assortment of golden past, present and future stars, all familiar, all wonderful.

What can you say about Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau? The foolish accent, the foppery, the ego, and yes - zee genius! A characterization for the ages. Silly, but silly in the greatest, most generous form. He shares his foolishness with us and we love him for it. Although Sellers' Clouseau was on the side of the law, he stole the film from the "official" star, David Niven.
David Niven adds genuine star dust and continental charm to his role as playboy Sir Charles Lytton (aka the notorious jewel thief,  "The Phantom"). His elegance is effortless.
Robert Wagner as Niven's bad-boy nephew, George, adds some young blood to the scene. As apprentice to Niven, he learns from a master.
Claudia Cardinale. Was there a more beautiful woman on the screen in 1963? She is the ultimate Italian sex goddess (sorry, Sophia). As Princess Dala she wins hearts (and provides a few surprise moves of her own).
Capucine was the essence of elegance as Madame Clouseau, wife of our hero. She is a hoot as she makes love to Sir Charles and assists him in his robberies, all the while deceiving her clueless husband, who adores her.
And, finally, Blake Edwards' vision of a rollicking,  international good time. The locales (Paris, Rome, Hollywood and the Italian Alps), the clothes, the sets. Revolving door romances, a masquerade party and all's well that ends well. He brings us silliness and laughter touched with sophistication and glamour.
Oh, there is one thing that does make me growl - the stupid remake of 2006. Why, Steve Martin, why?? And twice, no less!
Don't waste your time with poor imitations when the real thing is available. Long live that darling panther, Clouseau and Blake Edwards. "Cheers" to the the joy of cinema!
One of my favorite characters, Cato (played by Burt Kwouk), does not appear until the second PP film, "A Shot in the Dark," (even funnier). He and Clouseau would go on to have some wonderfully funny epic "battles" in subsequent sequels. I just couldn't let you leave without sharing at least one from "The Pink Panther Strikes Again":
"The Pink Panther" did not charm the critics, but, hey, what do they know?


  1. Arrgh -- just hearing about the remakes with Steve Martin makes me burn! Totally P U!! I LOVE Sellers. The man was a crazy genius. His fights with Cato were so hilarious, and I loved when they were practically killing each other, then the phone would ring and Cato would answer it perfectly calmly like good butler should. Seller's scenes with Capucine were indeed funny as hell. Now you've made me want to watch them ALL again!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Becky. I truly love those films - they are just purely funny and so beautifully done.

  3. They all are the good and memorable movies for us and we must go with them , if haven't watched them yet. They show their precious values and entertainment in such a nice way.