In 1963, Peter Sellers played the role of bumbling detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the movie,The Pink Panther. Sellers’ performance became so popular that a series ofPink Panthersequels, spin-offs and reboots were produced around his character.
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But how manyPink Pantherfilms are there and in what order should they be watched? If you are itching to know the answers to these questions then stick with me, thePink Pantherseries is much bigger than you might think.
In this post, I am taking a look at the hugely successfulPink Pantherseries to provide the best viewing order(s). This might get a little confusing – it is an extensive series after all – so please bear with me as I guide you through it.
The originalPink Pantherseries
As mentioned above, the first film in the series was 1963’sThe Pink Panther. The movie revolved around a jewel thief and the theft of a diamond – the eponymous Pink Panther.
Although not originally intended, the standout star of the movie was Peter Sellers, who gave a scene-stealing turn as Inspector Clouseau. In fact, the part was so popular, Clouseau (once again played by Sellers) became the focus of the next entry in the series – 1964’sA Shot in the Dark.
Due to the success ofA Shot in the Dark,a third film was put into production, with the titleInspector Clouseau (1968). However, Sellers was not part of this production, and actor Alan Arkin played the title character.
Sellers returned for the fourth film,The Return of the Pink Panther(1975), as well as a fifth and sixth:The Pink Panther Strikes Again(1976) andRevenge of the Pink Panther(1978), respectively. Plans were then put in place for another movie, however, in 1980 Peter Sellers passed away.
So, that’s the end of the series, right?
Despite Sellers’ death, production got underway on yet anotherPink Panthermovie, once again to feature Inspector Clouseau – and rather surprisingly, with Sellers in the role! This film was 1982’sTrail of the Pink Panther, which navigated around Sellers’ passing by utilising deleted scenes and old footage from previous films to include the actor in the movie.
Understandably,Trail of the Pink Pantherwas not well received by fans… but that didn’t halt the series. An eighth entry was released – 1983’sCurse of the Pink Panther– which veered away from Clouseau by focusing on a new character called Sergeant Clifton Sleigh (played by Ted Wass).
And then that was it, right?
One more entry was released in the original run of films, a sequel/spin-off calledSon of the Pink Panther(1993). This film centred around Gendarme Jacques Gambrelli – the illegitimate son of Inspector Clouseau.
OK, you can take a pause for a moment – as that brings an end to the original run of films. But how do you watch these movies?
Well, the viewing order is fairly simple, although there is a slight bump in the road.
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If you want to watch thePink Panthermovies which either feature or are linked to Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, then you should watch the films in this order:The Pink Panther(1963)A Shot in the Dark(1964)The Return of the Pink Panther(1975)The Pink Panther Strikes Again(1976)Revenge of the Pink Panther(1978)Trial of the Pink Panther(1982)Curse of the Pink Panther(1983)Son of the Pink Panther(1993)
Now, you’ll note that the above list contains eight films rather than nine. The film which is missing from this list is 1968’sInspector Clouseau, as this is not considered to be part of the series.
So, this entry belongs in its own list:Inspector Clouseau(1968)
OK, so that is the original run of films covered, but these nine movies are not the onlyPink Pantherfilms. It’s now time for the reboot!