This is film making as a branch of the candy trade, and the pack is so enticing that few will worry about the jerky machinations of the plot.

This is film making as a branch of the candy trade, and the pack is so enticing that few will worry about the jerky machinations of the plot.

Quite apart from the general air of bubbling elegance, the pic is intensely funny. The yocks are almost entirely the responsibility of Peter Sellers, who is perfectly suited as a clumsy cop who can hardly move a foot without smashing a vase or open a door without hitting himself on the head.

The Panther is a priceless jewel owned by the Indian Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), vacationing in the Swiss ski resort of Cortina. The other principals are introduced in their various habitats, before they converge on the princess and her jewel.

Sellers’ razor-sharp timing is superlative, and he makes the most of his ample opportunities. His doting concern for criminal wife (Capucine), his blundering ineptitude with material objects, and his dogged pursuit of the crook all coalesce to a sharp performance, with satirical overtones.

David Niven produces his familiar brand of debonair ease. Robert Wagner has a somewhat undernourished role. Capucine, sometimes awkward and over-intense as if she were straining for yocks, is nevertheless a good Simone Clouseau.

1964: Nomination: Best Original Music Score

The Pink Panther

Production

Mirisch/GE. Director Blake Edwards; Producer Martin Jurow; Screenplay Maurice Richlin, Blake Edwards; Camera Philip Lathrop; Editor Ralph E. Winters; Music Henry Mancini; Art Director Fernando Carrere

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

David Niven Peter Sellers Robert Wagner Capucine Claudia Cardinale Brenda de Banzie
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