Dan Ireland on

The Pink Panther

Released 1963
Distributor United Artists

A chameleon by nature, Peter Sellers had been turning in inspired comic performances since the early fifties – but it took the role of the habitually hapless Inspector Clouseau (originally intended for Peter Ustinov) in this first of seven The Pink Panther comedies to catapult him to superstar status. Though director Blake Edwards’ screenplay placed the bumbling detective at the center of a comic ensemble that included David Niven (who signed on expecting his role to be the lead), Capucine and Robert Wagner, Sellers would have free reign over the film’s even funnier sequel, A Shot in the Dark. Henry Mancini contributed the ultra-lounge score along with the  memorable theme song.  A lamentable animated cartoon series helped kill off theatrical cartoons.

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About Dan Ireland

Dan Ireland loved movies of all shapes, sizes, genres and formats. As co-founder (and co-director) of The Seattle International Film Festival and Co-Artistic Director of The Louisiana International Film Festival, Dan produced over 15 movies including John Huston’s final film, The Dead, and Bernard Rose’s Paperhouse. He made his directorial debut in 1996 with the award winning The Whole Wide World starring Vincent D’Onofrio and a then unknown Renee Zellweger. His other directorial credits include Passionada, Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont, starring Dame Joan Plowright and E.L. Doctorow’s Jolene, which launched the career of actress Jessica Chastain. What was to be Dan's next project, Mr. Lively, fell apart mere weeks before its scheduled production, a month before his passing on April 14, 2016.