The Return of the Pink Panther



Hilarious Clouseau better in sequel than original.
  • Review Date: June 6, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1975
  • Running Time: 115 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Mixed, since Inspector Clouseau, while wholly on the side of righteousness and justice, is an arrogant clown, while the bright and good-looking Sir Charles is a professional thief (and his pretty wife is no better).


Some slapstick fights. Chief Inspector Dreyfus tries to shoot/strangle Clouseau (harming himself and others instead). Some mildly 007-type action as Sir Charles tangles with armed thugs. Running joke about him bullying one of their flunkies by breaking the man's fingers.


None, unless you count Clouseau, attempting to trap Sir Charles, dressing up as a lounge lizard (with half his mustache missing) and trying to seduce the jewel thief's wife.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clouseau addresses his Asian manservant Cato in racially-condescending terms ("my little yellow friend"), and that the movie's ostensible "good guy" (apart from Clouseau) is a charming career thief who's not above intimidating a weasel supporting character via torture. There is gunplay for comic effect.

What's the story?

Despite high-tech security, the fabulous Pink Panther diamond is stolen by a masked cat burglar from a gallery in the mythical Mideast country of Lugash. France's Inspector Jacques Clouseau is summoned to recover the gem. This is a career boost for the disaster-prone Clouseau, demoted to patrolling the streets of Paris by Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who ultimately fires him for his perpetual incompetence. Reinstated, Clouseau sets out after his old nemesis Sir Charles, and is tricked by the aristocrat's fun-loving wife Claudine to follow her to a Swiss ski resort. Meanwhile, Sir Charles claims he's retired from larceny and doesn't know where the Pink Panther is. He tries to prove his innocence by catching the real thief.

Is it any good?


This was the first time in ten years that Peter Sellers had reprised his hit 1960s role as the klutzy French police detective Jacques Clouseau, but the title is more literal than that, as Clouseau is once again tangling with the nefarious thief Sir Charles Lytton, alias `The Phantom,' from the original PINK PANTHER. At times it seems like we're watching two different movies; wild slapstick with Clouseau, more grownup adventure/intrigue with Sir Charles.

But it's Sellers' mastery of characterization that makes Clouseau work. He's a bumbling oaf but conceitedly believes in himself as a cool crimefighter and master of disguise -- and good fortune seems to conspire to indeed make Clouseau look like a super-sleuth in the end, sending Dreyfus into a homicidal rage. Even though director Blake Edwards shows other characters (not Dreyfus, of course) laughing at Clouseau, a supposed violation of screen comedy's most sacred rule, it's still a riot.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the poor way Chief Inspector Dreyfus handles his anger at Clouseau. Does anybody drive you crazy? What's a better way of containing negative feelings to someone you're stuck with at school or at home?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 6, 1975
DVD release date:March 20, 2001
Cast:Christopher Plummer, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers
Director:Blake Edwards
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:adult situations

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

I laughed!

Adult Written byaschneider April 9, 2008

Not as good as I remember...

Not as funny as I remembered ang my eight yr old kept losing interest.
Parent of a 12 year old Written bycrankylibrarian January 3, 2014

Cliche violent action flick, buoyed by Sellers's brilliant comedy

Cassady's review is dead-on: this does feel like 2 separate movies. Lord and Lady Lytton are quite despicable characters: selfish, snobbish, deceitful, and quite willing to endanger or harm others for their own amusement. However, Clouseau and Dreyfus have some of their most inspired bits: a highlight is Clouseau's attempted masquerade as a phone repairman. Younger children may be disturbed by Dreyfus's repeated shooting mishaps, and to see Captain von Trapp as a surprisingly violent con artist, (in shockingly ugly 70s outfits). And it might be worth mentioning that the cavalier treatment of mental illness would not pass muster today.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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