The Pink Panther



Funny and entertaining after all these years.
  • Review Date: May 12, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1964
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The "good guys" are gentleman thieves, adulterers and loveable con-artists, breeds that never seem much in evidence outside of Hollywood fantasies.


Mild pratfalls, Clouseau clumsily firing a gun (and, later, fireworks), in all directions. A comical car chase ends in a pileup.


Infidelity and bedroom talk, mostly coy with any action offscreen. Sir Charles is accused of closet homosexuality, in very euphemistic terms that might easily go over kids' heads.


Use of "hell" here and there.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and "cute" drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has comic slapstick violence and some sexually suggestive material, but kids will split their sides with laughter. A lot will go over their heads, but there's enough action and pratfalls to keep them interested. You may want to point out that in real life con artists and thieves are not so funny.

What's the story?

In THE PINK PANTHER, Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven), a globetrotting bachelor who is in secret a super-thief called the Phantom, has been making fools of police around the world for 15 years. No fool is bigger than Inspector Clouseau, whose been pursuing the Phantom all that time, always one step behind. That's because Clouseau's adored wife Simone (Capucine) is Lytton's secret accomplice -- and mistress. Clouseau correctly reasons the Phantom's next target will be the Pink Panther diamond worn by Indian princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), who is due to visit a ski resort in the Alps. Clouseau travels there to catch the thief, and brings Simone with him. Sir Charles shows up and begins using his considerable charm on Princess Dala. Bumbling Clouseau misses all the signs his treacherous wife has no interest in him, but he does gradually suspect Sir Charles. To complicate matters, Sir Charles' nephew (Robert Wagner) and turns out to be a con artist who also plans to steal the Pink Panther, during a costume ball.

Is it any good?


Viewers who seek out the first-ever Pink Panther on video might be disappointed to find Peter Sellers isn't the star of this caper flick. He's funny, but the traits of epic-scale slapstick lunacy that made Clouseau famous were to evolve later, in spinoff/sequels. The costume ball is the only part of the picture that really comes to life with the slapstick that Sellers fans came to expect. Most of The Pink Panther is stagier, drawing-room comedy, heavy on pillow-talk dialogue and lovers ducking in and out of adjacent hotel rooms.

While the sex-oriented banter is old-school Hollywood -- very coy and civilized and likely to go over kids' heads -- even young viewers might notice that Clouseau is played with more realism and less clowning. He is actually a rather sad character. He fails to notice his Simone's indifference to him, and she puts off his passionate advances with complaints that she can't "relax" (in fact, she's seeing Sir Charles at every opportunity). While grownups and older kids might enjoy the verbose farce and the charisma of the stars, younger kids may get more entertainment value out of any given Pink Panther cartoon.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this first film compares to the zanier, more slapstick, subsequent Pink Panther movies.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 18, 1964
DVD release date:August 14, 2001
Cast:David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner
Director:Blake Edwards
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Pink Panther was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 10 year old Written bydebthomzas July 15, 2013

The first Pink Panther movie is not what you remember!

My husband and I remembered the hilarious fun of Pink Panther movies, so we thought we'd watch it as a family since our son is learning to play the theme song on the piano. Sadly, this movie is utterly about seduction and womanizing. There is one seduction scene (kissing) after another and this did not go over our ten-year-old's head. He asked why Clouseau's wife kissed not one other man, but two other men--she is also involved with Sir Charles' nephew. If the characters are not kissing, they are talking about seduction. There was a lot of bed hopping, though in silky peignoirs and smoking jackets! There is alcohol in practically every scene. Not for kids. Not all that funny, either.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bymommybecca November 16, 2011

Not a good message for morality...behavior before marriage & fidelity after.

There was way too much casual acceptance of infidelity (Clouseau's wife of 10 years was cheating on him-probably the whole time- with Sir Charles; who did not seem bothered if she were to also get involved with his nephew) & talk of virginity (not in a respectful way) & getting a woman drunk(she gave in to pressure "are you afraid?" & drank alcohol for the first time, & would Sir Charles take advantage of her? There was no mention of this is not a good was presented as amusing, & not that she did anything wrong to give in to peer pressure.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Parent Written byMisterDad August 26, 2011

60's Bedroom Farce

We watched this expecting to see a slapstick comedy, and there is plenty of that, but at its heart, this is essentially a 60's bedroom farce, with a crime caper to add spice to it. Nothing is explicit, so there's nothing corrupting young minds without a frame of reference, but the parents will get uncomfortable because they do understand what's being alluded to off-screen. It's actually refreshing to see the sexual canoodling handled so adroitly and inoffensively, but it's there, your little kids just won't get it.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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