Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)

PG | 100 mins | Comedy | 19 July 1978

Director:

Blake Edwards

Producer:

Blake Edwards

Cinematographer:

Ernest Day

Editor:

Alan Jones

Production Designer:

John Siddall

Production Company:

Jewel Productions Limited
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HISTORY

Curse of the Pink Panther was a working title for the film, as stated in a 21 Sep 1977 HR brief.
       End credits include the following written statement: “Filmed at Shepperton Studio Centre, Shepperton, Middx. England, and on location in France and in Hong Kong B.C.C. in conjuction with B.B. & M. Film Co-Ordinators. The Producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of Seiko Watches, Minolta Corporation, Chantiers Navals d’Antibes.”
       A 5 Jul 1978 Var article reported the budget as roughly $9 million; however, in a 12 May 1982 DV “Just for Variety” column, Army Archerd stated that the film cost $12 million. According to a 19 Dec 1977 Box news item, principal photography began 2 Nov 1977 in Paris, France. A 23 Nov 1977 Var brief announced that production had moved to Shepperton Studios in London, England, where shooting was completed late Jan 1978, as noted in a 27 Jan 1978 HR announcement. Filming resumed in Hong Kong on 5 Feb 1978, to coincide with a Chinese New Year celebration, according to a 1 Feb 1978 HR item, and on 21 Mar 1978, the company moved to Nice, France, as reported in a DV item of the same date. Principal photography was completed the weekend of 15-16 Apr 1978, according to a 19 Apr 1978 Var announcement.
       Three hundred guests, including seventy-five members of the press, were flown to Oahu, HI, for a press junket and preview screening of the film, as reported in the 5 Jul 1978 Var. For the weekend-long event, which cost United ... More Less

Curse of the Pink Panther was a working title for the film, as stated in a 21 Sep 1977 HR brief.
       End credits include the following written statement: “Filmed at Shepperton Studio Centre, Shepperton, Middx. England, and on location in France and in Hong Kong B.C.C. in conjuction with B.B. & M. Film Co-Ordinators. The Producers gratefully acknowledge the co-operation of Seiko Watches, Minolta Corporation, Chantiers Navals d’Antibes.”
       A 5 Jul 1978 Var article reported the budget as roughly $9 million; however, in a 12 May 1982 DV “Just for Variety” column, Army Archerd stated that the film cost $12 million. According to a 19 Dec 1977 Box news item, principal photography began 2 Nov 1977 in Paris, France. A 23 Nov 1977 Var brief announced that production had moved to Shepperton Studios in London, England, where shooting was completed late Jan 1978, as noted in a 27 Jan 1978 HR announcement. Filming resumed in Hong Kong on 5 Feb 1978, to coincide with a Chinese New Year celebration, according to a 1 Feb 1978 HR item, and on 21 Mar 1978, the company moved to Nice, France, as reported in a DV item of the same date. Principal photography was completed the weekend of 15-16 Apr 1978, according to a 19 Apr 1978 Var announcement.
       Three hundred guests, including seventy-five members of the press, were flown to Oahu, HI, for a press junket and preview screening of the film, as reported in the 5 Jul 1978 Var. For the weekend-long event, which cost United Artists (UA) $300,000, the Kuilima Hyatt hotel was decorated in a “Pink Panther” motif and guests received bags filled with Pink Panther merchandise upon arrival. Footage from the preview junket was included in an hour-long television special, That’s Panthertainment, set to air 16 Aug 1978, according to an “On Location” column in the 15 Aug 1978 HR. The special was produced in a rushed three weeks, and included interviews with the cast as well as out-takes from the five previous Pink Panther films.
       According to a 22 Mar 1978 HR article, associate producer Tony Adams had collected over $7 million in “blind bid advances” from domestic exhibitors four month’s prior to the film’s release. The world premiere was set to take place 13 Jul 1978 at a benefit screening at the Odeon Leicester Square theatre, according to a 5 Jul 1978 Var brief, with Prince Charles set to attend and an estimated $50,000 to be raised for the British Newspaper Press Fund and Welsh Environmental Foundation. The film would open six days later, on 19 Jul 1978, at New York City’s Ziegfeld Theatre and Los Angeles, CA’s Cinerama Dome, where a giant, inflatable Pink Panther was erected outside the theater. Shortly after the New York and Los Angeles openings, five hundred prints were released in the U.S. and Canada. A 19 Dec 1978 HR brief noted that the inflatable Pink Panther was later sent to Tokyo, Japan, where it was suspended from a skyscraper in Ikebukero to promote the Japanese opening.
       According to a 12 Jul 1978 HR brief, the Pink Panther films were UA’s top sellers in merchandising at the time, with roughly forty companies licensed to manufacture Pink Panther products. A Jul 1978 UA press release named several of the items in production, including: Pink Panther -themed soap, bath mitts, and toothbrush holders from Avon; greeting cards and party supplies from Hallmark Cards, Inc.; a Pink Panther chatter pet from Mattel, Inc.; comic books, puzzles, and coloring books from Western Publishing Company; and stereo slides and viewers from GAF Corporation. Prior to the film’s release, the Pink Panther animated character became Safeco Insurance of America’s official spokesperson, and a seventy-five acre Pink Panther-themed park and campsite was erected in Slidell, Louisiana, with a lagoon and “huge skateboard areas.” A novelization was set to be released by a British publisher, New English Library, as stated in a 12 Jul 1978 Var item, and a soundtrack album was distributed by UA Records, according to a 6 Jul 1978 HR article, which noted that the first shipments of the album did not credit composer Henry Mancini on the labels; according to HR, UA Records’ chief, Artie Mogull, promised to correct the error.
       Critical reception was mixed; in a 16 Jan 1979 LAT item, Sellers expressed his own disappointment in the film, stating, “[the film] was made out of nothing. Neither Blake nor I was ready to make it, but UA put such pressure on us that we said: ‘OK, we’ll do our best.’” Regardless, the picture was a commercial success, taking in a domestic gross of $31,405,836 after seven weeks of release, according to an 8 Sep 1978 HR item.
       Henry Mancini received a Grammy award nomination for Best Album of Original Score for a film.
       The Revenge of the Pink Panther was the last film in the Pink Panther series in which Peter Sellers starred, although a 1982 sequel, Trail of the Pink Panther (see entry), featured unused footage of Sellers as “Chief Inspector Clouseau” from previous films, as noted in Vincent Canby’s 17 Dec 1982 NYT review. Although a 16 Jan 1979 LAT news item announced that Sellers planned to reprise his starring role in a Pink Panther film to be directed by Sydney Poitier, Sellers died 24 Jul 1980, before the project came to fruition.



The summary for this entry was completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary was written by participant Gonzalo Ramirez, a student at University of California, Los Angeles, with Jonathan Furner as academic advisor.
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Dec 1977.
---
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 1978
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
9 Jul 1978
Section O, p. 1, 46.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jul 1978
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
31 Dec 1978
Section J, p. 1, 26-28.
Los Angeles Times
16 Jan 1979
Section F, p. 6.
New York Times
19 Jul 1978
p. 19.
Variety
23 Nov 1977.
---
Variety
26 Nov 1977.
---
Variety
22 Mar 1978.
---
Variety
19 Apr 1978.
---
Variety
24 May 1978.
---
Variety
5 Jul 1978.
---
Variety
12 Jul 1978
p. 23.
Variety
19 Jul 1978
p. 20.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Starring:
as Dreyfus
Sam Spade and the Private Eyes:
Chinese ladies of easy virtue:
Douvier's boardmembers:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Sellers-Edwards production
Blake Edwards'
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam grip
ART DIRECTORS
Des by
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Const mgr
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd mixer
Dubbing mixer
Dubbing mixer
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Chief make-up
Chief hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Casting dir
Prod asst
Prod accountant
Asst to Mr. Edwards
Asst to Mr. Adams
Dir of pub
STAND INS
Stunt co-ord
Stunt co-ord
ANIMATION
Title anim
Des by
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Move 'Em Out," composed by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, sung by Lon Satton.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Curse of the Pink Panther
Release Date:
19 July 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 19 July 1978
Production Date:
2 November 1977--mid April 1978
Copyright Claimant:
United Artists Corporation
Copyright Date:
15 September 1978
Copyright Number:
PA20859
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a shooting range in Paris, France, mobster Al Marchione tells millionaire businessman Phillipe Douvier that the New York mafia boss, Scallini, doubts Douvier’s capacity to conduct business. In response, Douvier plans to show his force by assassinating Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the most famous policeman in France. The first assassination attempt takes place at Dr. Auguste Ball’s costume store, where Clouseau tries on a “Toulouse Lautrec” disguise right when a man delivers a bomb to the door. Clouseau tosses the explosive away with seconds to spare, saving himself but destroying the store. Later, a martial arts expert named Mr. Chong breaks into Clouseau’s apartment and lies in waiting to attack the detective. When Clouseau arrives home, he mistakes Chong for his manservant, Cato, with whom he regularly spars, and outwits the assassin, sending the would-be killer flying through the window. That night, Douvier calls Clouseau and alleges that he has information about the murder attempts. They arrange a meeting, and although Cato warns that it is a trap, Clouseau heads to the designated rendezvous point. On the way, he picks up a transvestite criminal named Claude Russo, who steals Clouseau’s car and clothes, then strands him on the side of the road. Mistaking Russo for the detective, Douvier’s thugs send Clouseau’s car into a tree, killing the transvestite. As people around the world mourn the death of the famous Clouseau, the French police recall Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who has been recovering from a bout of insanity at a psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile, Clouseau, now dressed in Russo’s women’s apparel, is arrested and taken to the same psychiatric hospital. In a moment of distraction, the detective tries to escape and ... +


At a shooting range in Paris, France, mobster Al Marchione tells millionaire businessman Phillipe Douvier that the New York mafia boss, Scallini, doubts Douvier’s capacity to conduct business. In response, Douvier plans to show his force by assassinating Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the most famous policeman in France. The first assassination attempt takes place at Dr. Auguste Ball’s costume store, where Clouseau tries on a “Toulouse Lautrec” disguise right when a man delivers a bomb to the door. Clouseau tosses the explosive away with seconds to spare, saving himself but destroying the store. Later, a martial arts expert named Mr. Chong breaks into Clouseau’s apartment and lies in waiting to attack the detective. When Clouseau arrives home, he mistakes Chong for his manservant, Cato, with whom he regularly spars, and outwits the assassin, sending the would-be killer flying through the window. That night, Douvier calls Clouseau and alleges that he has information about the murder attempts. They arrange a meeting, and although Cato warns that it is a trap, Clouseau heads to the designated rendezvous point. On the way, he picks up a transvestite criminal named Claude Russo, who steals Clouseau’s car and clothes, then strands him on the side of the road. Mistaking Russo for the detective, Douvier’s thugs send Clouseau’s car into a tree, killing the transvestite. As people around the world mourn the death of the famous Clouseau, the French police recall Chief Inspector Dreyfus, who has been recovering from a bout of insanity at a psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile, Clouseau, now dressed in Russo’s women’s apparel, is arrested and taken to the same psychiatric hospital. In a moment of distraction, the detective tries to escape and unwittingly hides in Dreyfus’s bedroom. When Dreyfus discovers Clouseau inside his closet, he faints. Clouseau later sneaks out of the facility, disguised as Dreyfus. Back at home, he discovers that Cato has turned the apartment into a Chinese-themed brothel; however, after asking for his master’s forgiveness, Cato joins Clouseau in search of his attackers. At the funeral for “Clouseau,” Dreyfus pretends to cry as he giddily delivers a eulogy. Recognizing Clouseau, dressed as a priest amid the crowd of mourners, Dreyfus faints and falls into the grave. Soon after, Douvier’s wife forces him to end an affair with his secretary, Simone Legree, which he does. Afterward, Douvier tells his aide, Guy Algo, that he may have to eliminate Simone because she knows too much about their organization. Newly disguised as a Swedish seaman, Clouseau hears that something is about to happen at Le Club Phut, the same nightclub in which Douvier’s associates plan to murder Simone. As Clouseau and Cato attempt to sneak into the club, they accidentally save Simone’s life when she is forced into the alley by her attackers. Grateful, Simone invites Clouseau to her apartment where she tells him that Douvier was behind the assassination attempts. Douvier’s thugs arrive at the apartment building, and Simone leads Clouseau into the apartment of her neighbor, who happens to be Dreyfus. In his bedroom, Dreyfus overhears Simone telling Clouseau about Douvier’s upcoming heroin deal in Hong Kong. Hoping to thwart Douvier’s drug operation, Simone joins Cato and Clouseau as they travel to Hong Kong. There, Clouseau impersonates Scallini, the New York mafia boss, but his disguise is uncovered when he falls from a dock. A chase through the streets ensues. Having recently arrived in Hong Kong, Dreyfus joins in the pursuit, along with the Hong Kong police. Clouseau leads the mobsters, police, and Drefyus to a fireworks factory, where Dreyfus accidentally ignites the merchandise. The factory explodes, but Clouseau survives and the mobsters are sent to jail. Back in France, the President awards Clouseau with yet another medal, and Clouseau goes on a date with Simone. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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