PINK PANTHER, THE (1963)
It's the largest diamond in the world, containing the image of a panther. Claudia Cardinale owns it, and David Niven — playboy by day, legendary jewel thief "the Phantom" by night — is after it. It's also sought by Niven's nephew Robert Wagner, himself an aspiring jewel thief, who plans to cover his tracks by framing the Phantom — unaware that it's his uncle. Is it any wonder Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau is confused? Blake Edwards' slapstick classic introduced the now-familiar Henry Mancini theme song, spawned an animated series starring a (literal) pink panther, and launched Sellers on a series of sequels as the screen's dumbest detective. DIR/SCR Blake Edwards; SCR Maurice Richlin; PROD Martin Jurow. U.S., 1963, color, 113 min. NOT RATED
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