When she was a child Princess Dala’s father, the Maharajah, gave her a large pink diamond. The gem has a flaw in it that resembles a panther. This gives the stone its name, “The Pink Panther”. When her father dies the military takes over the government. Dala (Claudia Cardinale) is forced into exile. The military believes the stone belongs to the people of Lugash and have petitioned the International Court for possession of the stone but Dala insists that the stone is hers and refuses to give it back.

Dala goes on holiday to a ski resort in Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Also at the resort are Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) and his wife Simone Clouseau (Capucine). Clouseau is on the hunt for a jewel thief known as the Phantom. He believes that the Phantom may be after Dala’s diamond the Pink Panther. The Phantom is in reality Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven). He uses his title, his privilege and his charm to get close to women so that he can get access to their jewels in order to steal them later.

Unbeknownst to Clouseau, his wife Simone is having an affair with Sir Charles. She has been profiting from Charles’ escapades by letting him know what her husband is up to and by being his go-between with his fence. Charles’ nephew George Lytton (Robert Wager) lives in America and has been living off his uncle for years. Between his lifestyle and his gambling George has amassed a lot of debt. He is in Italy to escape some mobsters to which he owes money.

The night before a costume party at Dala’s, George discovers that his uncle is the Phantom. Something George hopes to profit on. During the party both George and Charles attempt to steal the Pink Panther only to find that it is already gone.

“The Pink Panther” was released in 1963 and was directed by Blake Edwards. It is a British/American comedy mystery. This was the first film in the Pink Panther franchise. There were five movies in the series where Peter Sellers played the bumbling detective. David Niven was supposed to be the main attraction in the film; however, Sellers' performance outshined everyone. Sellers’ name became synonymous with the Pink Panther.

Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers developed a close working relationship during filming. Together they developed all the traits of the Jacques Clouseau character even his voice and various expressions. "For years I'd been getting bits of what I wanted into films, as writer or director . . . but I had never had an area in which to exploit my ideas to the full," Edwards said. "Then along came Peter, a walking storehouse of madness, a ham with an almost surrealist approach to the insanity of things, and we found an immediate affinity."

The movie was a lot of fun. Just about all of it because of Sellers. You did have the usual slap stick as well as farce elements but the funniest parts were the subtle nuances that Sellers gives to his character. For example: when Clouseau gets a fake call from the Prefect of police he is wearing a scarf and drying his face with a towel. When he goes to get his coat he inadvertently throws the scarf aside and uses the towel as his scarf. Later when he takes his coat off there is a moment of confusion that passes over his face before he dismisses the incongruity. In subsequent films the Clouseau character got a little more exaggerated. His character was not as innocent as in this first film.

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