directed by Blake Edwards
UK/USA 1963

 

As with a surprising number of film roles so closely associated with a particular actor, the Inspector Clouseau character that made his debut in The Pink Panther (1963) was not originally intended for Peter Sellers and was not, in fact, meant to be the central role. The Pink Panther was conceived as a sophisticated comedy about a charming, urbane jewel thief, Sir Charles Litton, a part perfectly suited to the talents and image of David Niven. Years before this picture, Niven nailed the character in Raffles (1940) as the upper crust man-about-town who leads a double life as an ace jewel thief. But any hopes of capitalizing on his previous success were quickly dashed when Sellers arrived on the set.

Peter Ustinov was originally cast as Clouseau, with Ava Gardner as his faithless wife in league with Litton. When Gardner backed out, Ustinov left the project, too, and director Blake Edwards turned to Sellers, a chameleon-like British comic actor known for his ability to transform himself into the most outrageous characters - sometimes playing more than one in a single picture, as he had already proven in The Mouse That Roared (1959) and would do so again in Dr. Strangelove (1964). The Pink Panther sparked a number of sequels, but Clouseau was the main character, not Sir Charles. Instead, Niven had to content himself with playing a variation on the character in the TV series, "The Rogues" (1964-65).

Excerpt of review from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 19, 1963

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DVD Comparison: 

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Daniel Mott for the Region 1 captures!

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:54:52 1:55:07.525
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.8 M mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 45,847,723,645 bytes

Feature Size: 37,962,399,744 bytes

Average Bitrate: 43.97 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 and Original Mono), French and Spanish (Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3750 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3750 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Portuguese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Subtitles English, French, Spanish or None English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Director Blake Edwards
• Trivia Track
• Shots in the Dark (photo gallery)
• Original Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

 

Disc Size: 45,847,723,645 bytes

Feature Size: 37,962,399,744 bytes

Average Bitrate: 43.97 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Director Blake Edwards
Five featurettes:

• "The Pink Panther Story" (28:42- SD)

• "Beyond the Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon" (10:45)

•  "The Coolest Cat in Cortina: Robert Wagner" (10:53 - in HD!)

•  "The Tip Toe Life of a Cat Burglar: A Conversation with Former Jewel Thief Bill Mason" (9:43 in HD!)

• "Diamonds: Beyond the Sparkle" (6:53 in HD!)

Blu-ray Release Date: January 27th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 32

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Blu-ray January 09': In the beginning of the film I was concerned with the image as it took a while to kick in - initially appearing dirty, excessively grainy with abundant speckles. But as it gained momentum it began to show its true 1080 colors (literally.) The older DVD is really no match for the crispness and vibrancy of the new Blu-ray rendering which takes up almost 38 Gig on a dual-layered disc with over 45 Gig of data. This generous arithmetic extends to the bitrate  of about 44mbps - approaching 6X the standard DVD. There is more information in the frame on the Blu-ray. It still shows some healthy grain but the biggest improvement seems to be in detail, and of course, the colors.

 

Audio-wide we get a bump to DTS-HD master 5.1. The mix represents the film okay but The Pink Panther doesn't have an extensive range to work with. Surrounds won't be over-indulging in the audio. Mancini's music sounds pristine. Effects have some subtleties but otherwise my only complaint would have been to include an uncompressed original option as well. The feature is subtitles in English and many other choices supporting it's region-free status.

Extras are super - the original Edwards commentary plus 5 decent featurettes with 4 of them being in HD. Included are the "The Pink Panther Story" (same as on DVD) for about 1/2 hour in SD, "Beyond the Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon", "The Coolest Cat in Cortina: Robert Wagner" gives 11 minutes with the actors fond recollections of the production, "The Tip Toe Life of a Cat Burglar: A Conversation with Former Jewel Thief Bill Mason" is quite interesting coming from a curious fellow. I enjoyed this for about 10 minutes - also in HD and finally "Diamonds: Beyond the Sparkle" really just gives background on diamonds - not essentially viable to the film but interesting nonetheless.

Great release - MGM has put something into this and we love to see vintage films make it to 1080P resolution. Recommended!     

Gary W. Tooze

DANIEL ON THE DVD: I'm very pleased with this MGM release which I feel makes justice to the genius and great fun of both Peter Sellers and the Pink Panther series (at least the earlier entries).


 

The picture has been restored and is clear, sharp and free of noise. The original mono sound is clear and the 5.1 mix is alright. I liked the animated menus. Supplements include a commentary and trivia track (see last capture), both of which are mildly interesting with nothing much new to tell.

A well made release from MGM with a good price, I certainly recommend! For added value, a box set is available with many of the films and some cartoons from the animated series.

 - Daniel Mott

 



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MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


MGM  - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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DVD Box Cover

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 





 

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