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YMMV / The Pink Panther (1963)

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: For no readily apparent reason (other than it being directed by a guy who really liked putting song sequences into comedies), the movie breaks at the halfway point for a musical number…in Italian.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The film illustrates this very well, ironically. People who watch it, expecting it to be about Clouseau, are typically disappointed that it is a largely-forgettable '60s caper with a Villain Protagonist trying to seduce a princess and everyone else spending most of the running time discussing sex. Clouseau shows up for maybe a third of the film, and the scenes without him drag.
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  • Nightmare Fuel: The sequence with Charles and George dressed as gorillas can be quite unsettling in a bizarre, surreal way. The way they stalk each other around the vault seeming to be unaware that the other is there. And then the following car chase where instead of showing the chase itself, you see an old pedestrian crossing the road while the cars speed by one by one, without any music, only the sound of screeching tires. The audience could feel the same way the old man does, confused and bemused.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Fran Jeffries, a model, singer, and future Playboy nude, performing "Meglio Stasera", while shimmying around the ski-lodge party in tight pants and a turtleneck sweater.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The film begins very slow and moves along like a drama until it somewhat abruptly breaks into the slapstick and chase scenes the series is known for.
  • Vindicated by History: Critical reception upon release was initially mixed, with some critics writing it off as unoriginal and a farce. New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther infamously panned the movie in his 1964 review. However, the film has gained far more favorable acclaim in the years since then, in large part thanks to Peter Sellers' performance as Clouseau, and is today regarded as one of the greatest comedies of the 1960's, and perhaps the history of film. It also helps that this along with Dr. Strangelove helped turn Sellers from a local British favorite to an international comedy superstar.
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