That famous jewel, The Pink Panther, has once again been stolen and Inspector Clouseau is called in to catch the thief. The Inspector is convinced that ‘The Phantom’ has returned and utilises all of his resources – himself and his oriental manservant – to reveal the true identity of ‘The Phantom’.
Graeme Roy <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Return Of The Pink Panther marked Peter Sellers first appearence as Inspector Closeau since A Shot In The Dark (1964) and kicked off a celebrated Pink Panther sequel trilogy. To follow was The Pink Panther Strikes Again and Revenge Of The Pink Panther. I say trilogy because of course ‘Revenge’ saw Sellers’ last outing before his premature death.
This film is a refreshing return to the roots of the original with Closeau on the trail of the PP diamond after it is once again stolen by the infamous Phantom. The Phantom’s alter-ego, Sir Charles Webb (Christopher Plummer taking over from David Niven), is naturally assusmed to be the culprit but he is in fact innocent and so joins in the search.
Steve, from the first page, is spot on with his review of the film. It is slow and quite dismal when Sellers is not on screen and the sub-plot involving Sir Charles is weak and uninteresting, which was not the case with Niven in the original but nevertheless Plummer is an inspired choice for the role. Actually, the whole story isn’t really clear or upfront, just Sellers at his best. And when he is on the screen, its gleaming with hilarity with a genius at play.
The result is a comedy which has its obvious flaws but also one which has many, many memorable and rip-roaring laughs. Return Of The Pink Panther is an irrestible treat and a must-see. I’m just having trouble figuring out which is better – this or Strikes Again. They’re both great!