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THE PINK PANTHER
May 26, 2019  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

Viewers and critics often talk of a performer “stealing” a scene in a film, or an entire movie – and that’s precisely the case with this 1963 comedy, which stars David Niven as a suave jewel thief. The jewel he’s planning to steal is the pastel-shaded diamond of the title – called the “pink panther” – and the notorious, mysterious thief is known only as “The Phantom.” The Pink Panther, as a cartoon character, sprang to life (and animated immortality) in the playful title sequence here, but even that scene-stealing caper was outdone by Peter Sellers, whose supporting role of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau took charge, and ran away with the franchise. Whether sharing the screen with Niven or glamorous actress Capucine, it’s Clouseau who deserves, and demands, most of the attention.

 
 
 
 
 
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