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Trivia / The Pink Panther (1963)

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  • AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores: #20.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Somewhat overweight for much of his life up to this point and possessing a hang-dog face, Peter Sellers was obsessed with becoming a handsome leading man. Although he easily outperformed Robert Wagner in this picture, he envied the American actor's good looks. To get himself in better shape, he subjected himself to a gruelling weight-loss regimen that included the excessive use of diet pills, possibly a contributing factor to the heart attack he suffered before the film's release. Some biographers also claim he had his teeth straightened and capped.
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  • Short Run in Peru: It was released in most of Europe around Christmas 1963 (which is why, even though it's often listed as a 1964 film, it really should be placed in 1963). It didn't open in the UK until the first week of January 1964, and didn't premiere in the US until March.
  • Star-Making Role: Alongside Dr. Strangelove, this film helped Peter Sellers become an international comedy sensation.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A notable example. Peter Sellers was a last-minute replacement as Inspector Clouseau after Blake Edwards' original choice for the role, Peter Ustinov, quit the production.
    • The role of Simone Clouseau was offered to Ava Gardner and Janet Leigh before Capucine got the part. In her autobiography, Leigh states she turned it down because she had recently gotten married to fourth husband Robert Brandt and didn't want to go on location and away from her new husband. Gardner accepted the role, but both her salary and personal demands were deemed unacceptable to the producers. Brigitte Bardot was also considered.
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    • Edwards wanted Audrey Hepburn to play Princess Dala. She declined, but recommended her friend Claudia Cardinale in her stead.


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