Especially with recent remakes involving popular actor Steve Martin, many find themselves drawn to Pink Panther movies. The comedic films involving clumsy detective Jacques Clouseau have become box office and DVD smashes worldwide under numerous titles due to their comedy, family fun and their action packed scenes.
History of the the Pink Panther Movies
Starting in 1963, the Pink Panther is a series of movies involving a French detective. While there is no pink cougar in the films themselves, the movie has become associated with the cat featured in the opening animation sequence to the first film. Created by DePatie-Frelend Enterprises, the sequence connects the clever pink cat with the well-known theme song for the film series. The theme song was create by Henrt Mancini and has been featured in almost all Pink Panther titles.
The Pink Panther itself is the name of a large diamond present in the first movie. As with other films in the farce genre, the diamond is often stolen and it is the sole job of otherwise useless Inspector Clouseau to find the culprit. In some of the Pink Panther titles, Clouseau is only hired for the case so as to be used as a scapegoat, though he later solves the whole case.
Actors Known For the Pink Panther
Recent editions of the Pink Panther have featured Steve Martin as the accidentally successful Inspector Clouseau. However, the role is best known for its originator, Peter Sellers. Other actors playing the role have included Alan Arkin and Roger Moore (both appearing in only a single title each).
Common characters in the Pink Panther films include:
- Inspector Clouseau
- Chief Inspector Charles LaRousse Dreyfus
- Cato Fong
- Sergeant François Chevalier
- The Phantom
Pink Panther Movie Titles
While the Pink Panther has become a favorite with many fans, there are numerous movie titles that the film has gone by. These titles include:
- The Pink Panther (1963): The first film in the series of films staring Peter Sellers.
- A Shot in the Dark (1964): The immediate follow up to the Pink Panther, the film chronicles Inspector Clouseau's way through a murder investigation.
- Inspector Clouseau (1968): The odd man out in Pink Panther films, the movie did not feature the popular theme song. The film also featured Alan Arkin.
- The Return of The Pink Panther (1975): The second movie to feature the Pink Panther diamond.
- The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
- The Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
- Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)
- Curse of the Pink Panther (1983): The movie is the one of the two Pink Panther films to not heavily feature Clouseau. Instead, the film only features the character briefly as cameo after the character is said to have received plastic surgery in order to disguise his appearance from others.
- Son of the Pink Panther (1993): Further pushing the misnomer that the Pink Panther is the Inspector himself, this film features Clouseau's son.
- The Pink Panther (2006): The first of the newer Pink Panthers, the film features Steve Martin. This edition of the Pink Panther is also the highest grossing film in the Pink Panther series, collecting over 82 million dollars in box office revenue.
- Pink Panther 2 (2009)
The animated Pink Panther cartoons have also become popular Saturday morning cartoons.
To many, the Pink Panther combines both comedy with crime sleuth fun. Many of the films have been critically acclaimed for their cinematic value and have become family favorites. The pink panther cat featured in the opening animations has become a popular character--even having his own float balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (one of the most popular holiday parades in the United States). The films are also thought to be the pinnacle of Peter Seller's career and a new revival in the career of Steve Martin.
The films are also often used as popular references. Shows from The Simpsons to Family Guy have mentioned the Pink Panther in some manner as the films themselves have become a part of pop culture.