The Return Of The Pink Panther


1h 53m 1975
The Return Of The Pink Panther

Brief Synopsis

The third installation in the Pink Panther series.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den Rosa Pantern kommer tillbaka, Return of the Pink Panther
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Mystery
Sequel
Release Date
1975
Production Company
United Artists Films
Distribution Company
United Artists Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

The third installation in the Pink Panther series.

Film Details

Also Known As
Den Rosa Pantern kommer tillbaka, Return of the Pink Panther
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Action
Adventure
Mystery
Sequel
Release Date
1975
Production Company
United Artists Films
Distribution Company
United Artists Films

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

The Return of the Pink Panther


The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) is officially the fourth film in the "Pink Panther" series but it almost single-handedly resuscitated the comedy franchise, as well as the careers of star Peter Sellers and, to a lesser extent, Blake Edwards, who co-wrote and directed the original 1963 slapstick mystery The Pink Panther. Edwards and Sellers reunited for A Shot in the Dark (1964), but while the two artists shared a successful creative partnership, they came to hate one another by the end of the shoot. Alan Arkin took over the role in Inspector Clouseau (1968), a critical and box-office disappointment directed by Bud Yorkin. It seemed like the series had run its course until Sir Lew Grade approached Edwards and Sellers with a proposal to bring the series to the small screen. As discussions got underway, the project evolved from a series to a feature film. The timing couldn't have been better. Peter Sellers' career had stalled and Edwards was struggling after the big-budget Darling Lili (1970) flopped and Wild Rovers (1971) and The Carey Treatment (1972) had been taken from his hands and reedited by the studio. Both were in need of a hit.

In the original 1963 comedy, The Pink Panther referred not to a character but to a diamond stolen by the mysterious jewel thief known as "The Phantom". In The Return of the Pink Panther the diamond is once again stolen and The Phantom is once again suspected, thanks to the signature glove left at the scene of the crime. Clouseau is once again called to investigate but Sellers was not the only returning cast member. The tormented Chief Inspector Dreyfus, played by Herbert Lom with increasing twitchiness, and Clouseau's houseboy Cato, played by Bert Kwouk, made their respective debuts in A Shot in the Dark. They became essential members of the series with this film. And just as important to the series is composer Henry Mancini, who returned to provide the defining theme song and distinctive score.

David Niven, who played Sir Charles Lytton (aka The Phantom) in the original, was unavailable so Christopher Plummer took over the role (now spelled "Litton" in the credits) as the now-retired cat burglar living a life of bored luxury in Nice. The theft brings him back into action, conducting his own investigation while Clouseau is distracted by Litton's wife, Lady Claudine (Catherine Schell), who can barely disguise her amusement at Clouseau's fumbling antics. In a 2017 interview, Schell recalled that Edwards kept cracking her up during their first meeting. When she asked him why he cast her over bigger names that he was also considering, he replied "Because you laugh and I wanted this character... to laugh, to see through what [Clouseau] is doing."

Sellers threw himself into the role of Clouseau, pushing his accent to hysterical extremes and committing himself to the physical slapstick, and Edwards encouraged improvisation on the set. In his memoir, Plummer recalled Sellers filming the final scene: "trying all sorts of accents... changing his lines, reversing dialogue on purpose, breaking himself up take after take, which the rest of us, including the crew, remained hysterically out of control." Cracking up on set was simply part of the process, according to Schell, who claims that Edwards set aside two weeks in the schedule "for laughing."

The opening credits were created by Richard Williams, the Oscar and Emmy-winning animator and director who went on to serve as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). You may recognize Victor Spinetti, who plays the concierge at the Swiss hotel, as the TV director exasperated with the antics of The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night (1964). And while you may not recognize the bikini-clad woman who dives into the hotel swimming pool as Clouseau falls with her, it is Carol Cleveland, the British actress who famously worked with Monty Python for decades.

The Return of the Pink Panther was a hit. Vincent Canby proclaimed it a "slapstick triumph" in The New York Times while the Variety review observed that "All hands seem to be having a ball, especially Schell, whose unabashed amusement at Clouseau's seduction attempts often matches an audience's hilarity." Christopher Plummer proclaimed that "Sellers had for the first time found his character Clouseau" and it was "his best and funniest performance of the role." It was a return to form for both Edwards and Sellers, boosting their respective careers and reviving the series. They collaborated on two additional films in the series before Sellers' death at the age of 54.

Sources:
Returning to the Scene: Blake Edwards, Volume 2, Peter Lehman and William Luhr. Ohio University Press, 1989.
In Spite of Myself: A Memoir, Christopher Plummer. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
A Bit of Passion and Lots of Laughs: An Interview with Actress Catherine Schell. Shout! Factory Blu-ray, 2017.
P.S. I Love You, Michael Sellers. E.P Dutton, 1982.
Peter Sellers, Alexander Walker. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1981.
AFI Catalog of Feature Films
IMDb

By Sean Axmaker
The Return Of The Pink Panther

The Return of the Pink Panther

The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) is officially the fourth film in the "Pink Panther" series but it almost single-handedly resuscitated the comedy franchise, as well as the careers of star Peter Sellers and, to a lesser extent, Blake Edwards, who co-wrote and directed the original 1963 slapstick mystery The Pink Panther. Edwards and Sellers reunited for A Shot in the Dark (1964), but while the two artists shared a successful creative partnership, they came to hate one another by the end of the shoot. Alan Arkin took over the role in Inspector Clouseau (1968), a critical and box-office disappointment directed by Bud Yorkin. It seemed like the series had run its course until Sir Lew Grade approached Edwards and Sellers with a proposal to bring the series to the small screen. As discussions got underway, the project evolved from a series to a feature film. The timing couldn't have been better. Peter Sellers' career had stalled and Edwards was struggling after the big-budget Darling Lili (1970) flopped and Wild Rovers (1971) and The Carey Treatment (1972) had been taken from his hands and reedited by the studio. Both were in need of a hit. In the original 1963 comedy, The Pink Panther referred not to a character but to a diamond stolen by the mysterious jewel thief known as "The Phantom". In The Return of the Pink Panther the diamond is once again stolen and The Phantom is once again suspected, thanks to the signature glove left at the scene of the crime. Clouseau is once again called to investigate but Sellers was not the only returning cast member. The tormented Chief Inspector Dreyfus, played by Herbert Lom with increasing twitchiness, and Clouseau's houseboy Cato, played by Bert Kwouk, made their respective debuts in A Shot in the Dark. They became essential members of the series with this film. And just as important to the series is composer Henry Mancini, who returned to provide the defining theme song and distinctive score. David Niven, who played Sir Charles Lytton (aka The Phantom) in the original, was unavailable so Christopher Plummer took over the role (now spelled "Litton" in the credits) as the now-retired cat burglar living a life of bored luxury in Nice. The theft brings him back into action, conducting his own investigation while Clouseau is distracted by Litton's wife, Lady Claudine (Catherine Schell), who can barely disguise her amusement at Clouseau's fumbling antics. In a 2017 interview, Schell recalled that Edwards kept cracking her up during their first meeting. When she asked him why he cast her over bigger names that he was also considering, he replied "Because you laugh and I wanted this character... to laugh, to see through what [Clouseau] is doing." Sellers threw himself into the role of Clouseau, pushing his accent to hysterical extremes and committing himself to the physical slapstick, and Edwards encouraged improvisation on the set. In his memoir, Plummer recalled Sellers filming the final scene: "trying all sorts of accents... changing his lines, reversing dialogue on purpose, breaking himself up take after take, which the rest of us, including the crew, remained hysterically out of control." Cracking up on set was simply part of the process, according to Schell, who claims that Edwards set aside two weeks in the schedule "for laughing." The opening credits were created by Richard Williams, the Oscar and Emmy-winning animator and director who went on to serve as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). You may recognize Victor Spinetti, who plays the concierge at the Swiss hotel, as the TV director exasperated with the antics of The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night (1964). And while you may not recognize the bikini-clad woman who dives into the hotel swimming pool as Clouseau falls with her, it is Carol Cleveland, the British actress who famously worked with Monty Python for decades. The Return of the Pink Panther was a hit. Vincent Canby proclaimed it a "slapstick triumph" in The New York Times while the Variety review observed that "All hands seem to be having a ball, especially Schell, whose unabashed amusement at Clouseau's seduction attempts often matches an audience's hilarity." Christopher Plummer proclaimed that "Sellers had for the first time found his character Clouseau" and it was "his best and funniest performance of the role." It was a return to form for both Edwards and Sellers, boosting their respective careers and reviving the series. They collaborated on two additional films in the series before Sellers' death at the age of 54. Sources: Returning to the Scene: Blake Edwards, Volume 2, Peter Lehman and William Luhr. Ohio University Press, 1989. In Spite of Myself: A Memoir, Christopher Plummer. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. A Bit of Passion and Lots of Laughs: An Interview with Actress Catherine Schell. Shout! Factory Blu-ray, 2017. P.S. I Love You, Michael Sellers. E.P Dutton, 1982. Peter Sellers, Alexander Walker. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1981. AFI Catalog of Feature Films IMDb By Sean Axmaker

Quotes

I am a musician and the monkey is a businessman. He doesn't tell me what to play, and I don't tell him what to do with his money.
- Blind beggar
Good Sharkey, Colonel God!
- Clouseau
I arrest you, Sir Charles Phantom, the notorious pink Lytton.
- Clouseau
The beggar was the lookout man for the gang.
- Dreyfus
That is impossible. How can a blind man be a lookout?
- Clouseau
How can an idiot be a police officer?
- Dreyfus
Well, all he has to do is enlist...
- Clouseau
Shut up!
- Dreyfus
I must leave. Zis Hotel is deteriorating rapidly.
- Clouseau
Follow that car!
- Clouseau

Trivia

David Niven was invited to reprise the role of Sir Charles Litton from the first Pink Panther movie _Pink Panther, The (1964)_ , but he was unavailable.

This film was originally intended to be a 26-part Pink Panther miniseries produced by Blake Edwards for the British ATV. The ATV then decided to turn it into a "Movie-of-the-Week", followed by a move to a feature film.

While United Artists did release the film and does hold the copyright, this is the only Pink Panther film that is not controlled by MGM. It is also the only Pink Panther film that has never been released by MGM on Home Video.

According to production notes on the DVD, Peter Sellers wasn't approached to reprise the role of Clouseau until after the proposed TV series had evolved into a feature film. It is not known if this means that Sellers would not have participated in a TV series.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring May 21, 1975

Released in United States Spring May 21, 1975