'Revenge of the Pink Panther' - the Film Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

'Revenge of the Pink Panther' - the Film

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The Pink Panther Films
The Pink Panther (1964) | A Shot In The Dark | Inspector Clouseau
The Return of the Pink Panther | The Pink Panther Strikes Again | Revenge of the Pink Panther
Trail of the Pink Panther | Curse of the Pink Panther | Son of the Pink Panther

Clouseau: These are not normal times, Cato. Someone has just tried to kill me.
Cato: That's normal.
Clouseau: Ah! But this time that someone thinks he has succeeded.


France's criminal organisation, known as the French Connection, is considered to be weak and ineffective by their American equivalent. In order to impress his American godfather and ensure a lucrative criminal transaction takes place, Douvier, head of the French Connection, orders the assassination of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau. After two failed attempts the world believes that Clouseau has been killed and the deal known as the 'Gannet Transaction' is due to go ahead in Hong Kong.

Dreyfus, recently recovered from his evaporation and insanity, is reappointed Chief Inspector and tasked with tracking Clouseau's killers. Meanwhile Douvier dumps his mistress and secretary Simone Legree, and Clouseau's servant Cato opens a brothel in the apartment he shares with Clouseau. But Clouseau is not dead! Instead, he has been arrested and sectioned1 for wearing women's clothing, as a transvestite named Russo had stolen his clothes and car at gunpoint. It was Russo who died, not Clouseau. After saving Simone's life from Douvier's contract killers, Clouseau joins Cato and Simone to travel to Hong Kong. Clouseau plans to impersonate the American godfather, but when Douvier, the Godfather and Dreyfus arrive in Hong Kong together, the fireworks really begin.


Characters and actors in bold appeared in other films in the series.

Chief Inspector Jacques ClouseauPeter Sellers
Chief Inspector Charles DreyfusHerbert Lom
Cato FongBurt Kwouk
Simone LegreeDyan Cannon
Philippe DouvierRobert Webber
Guy AlgoTony Beckley
Doctor Auguste BallsGraham Stark
Sergeant François ChevalierAndré Maranne
Al MarchioneRobert Loggia
Julio ScalliniPaul Stewart
Tanya the Lotus EaterValerie Leon
Claude RussoSue Lloyd2
Mr ChongEd Parker
Police CommissionerDouglas Wilmer
French PresidentJohn Newbury
French President's AideJohn Clive
CunnyDanny Schiller
'Hercule Poirot'Andrew Sachs
Hong Kong Police ChiefHerb Tanney

Dyan Cannon was an Oscar-nominated and Golden-Globe-winning actress who had been married to Cary Grant in the 1960s. Robert Webber would later star in Blake Edwards' films SOB and 10. Robert Loggia would later be Oscar-nominated for Jagged Edge and would star in many films, including Lost Highway. Paul Stewart began his film career in Citizen Kane and would work with Blake Edwards again in SOB.

Valerie Leon had appeared in many Carry On films, the Bond films The Spy who Loved Me and Never Say Never Again, and classic Hammer horror Blood from the Mummy's Tomb. Ed Parker was the father of American Kenpo Karate rather than an actor, and so was perfect for the role of the assassin. Douglas Wilmer had appeared in A Shot in the Dark and had minor roles in films such as The Vampire Lovers, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Rough Cut and Octopussy.

John Clive, who had a larger role in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, is famous for being the voice of John Lennon in Yellow Submarine as well as for roles in Carry On films. Andrew Sachs is famous for being Manuel in television sitcom Fawlty Towers and was Senior Postman Tolliver Groat in the television adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Discworld story, Going Postal.

This is the film in which Professor Auguste Balls finally appears, having been mentioned in The Return of the Pink Panther and having his scenes deleted out of The Pink Panther Strikes Again, where he was played by Harvey Korman. His assistant, Cunny, appears too. Both Balls and Cunny were named by Peter Sellers who chose the names as they sounded a little rude.

The Making of The Revenge of the Pink Panther

This was the sixth and final Pink Panther film finished during Peter Sellers' lifetime. The Pink Panther Strikes Again had made over $100 million, which made another sequel inevitable. This one would be filmed in both Hong Kong and France, as Burt Kwouk described:

I recall that when we returned from shooting in Hong Kong for the last Pink Panther Peter made, The Revenge of the Pink Panther, it was so cold when we stepped off the plane in Britain that Blake and Peter decided to shoot in the south of France instead.

By this time Peter Sellers had realised that in order to achieve the acting roles he desired most he would have to strike a balance between appearing in popular films, especially the Pink Panther series, and acting in more challenging and personal roles. His ongoing arguments with director Blake Edwards had resulted in his receiving a production credit for the film, now listed as a 'Sellers-Edwards production' rather than 'A Blake Edwards Production'. Furthermore, he was paid $750,000, plus 10% of the profits (like its two predecessors, the film made over $100 million). Peter Sellers would say at the time:

I've honestly had enough of Clouseau myself. I've nothing more to give.

Burt Kwouk described the disagreement with the words:

The relationship between Blake and Peter could be pretty fiery; each wanted to be king. The Pink Panther had been Blake's creation but Clouseau was Peter's creation... and both had a different vision of how their creation fitted in.

Burt Kwouk was arrested in Hong Kong during the filming. When his character of Cato ran out of the hotel and jumped on a scooter to pursue the criminals, the real Hong Kong police believed that he was stealing it.

Peter Sellers would follow this film with Being There, a personal project which he had pursued fanatically for the previous seven years. Sellers used his Stanley Laurel dignity to play Chance the gardener, a role for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar (but lost to Dustin Hoffman).


Once again Henry Mancini composed the film's music. The Pink Panther theme only appears in the opening credits, this time with a more disco sound. This film's song, 'Move 'Em Out' had lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and was sung by Lon Satton. The soundtrack released also included Inspector Clouseau singing 'Thank Heaven for Little Girls', a song featured in The Pink Panther Strikes Again.


  • 'Main Title (The Pink Panther Theme '78)'
  • 'Simone'
  • 'Give Me Some Mo'!'
  • 'Thar She Blows'
  • 'Balls' Caprice'
  • 'Move 'Em Out! '
  • 'A Touch of Red'
  • 'After the Shower'
  • 'Hong Kong Fireworks'
  • 'Almond Eyes'
  • 'The Pink Panther Theme'
  • 'Thank Heaven For Little Girls'


Revenge of the Pink Panther combines the formula of previous films but increases the disguises, finally introducing the much-discussed Balls, as well as the number of puns, such as Le Club Foot, Lee Quay Shipyards and the disguised Clouseau is 'Mr Low Key'. It also has the best car chase since The Pink Panther.

The film ignores the events of The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Dreyfus is once again a Chief Inspector. Despite masterminding an international criminal organisation that held the world to ransom and being zapped by the doomsday laser, he is reinstated at his former rank with no loss of pay or benefits. This film gives Cato the most to do of any Pink Panther film and the plot works well, despite off-screen tensions between Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards.

The formulaic rituals still exist, but have a twist to them. When Clouseau returns home, expecting to face a fight with Cato, he spots Mr Chong, the super assassin hired to kill him, and assumes that Chong is Cato and disposes of him. This means that Clouseau is caught off guard by the real Cato's attack, and so finally Cato gains the upper hand. Cato obviously has spent time and really thought about what he would do if Clouseau died, as within 24 hours of Clouseau's 'death' he has opened his own brothel, which must have taken some organising.

Clouseau's role as Chief Inspector is beginning to affect him, as he becomes more similar to Dreyfus. He threatens a police officer with a posting in Martinique, which Dreyfus had always reserved as punishment for him, before disguising himself as Dreyfus and later visiting Dreyfus' apartment. Clouseau even almost strangles François in the same way that Dreyfus wished he could strangle Clouseau. For the first time, both Clouseau and Dreyfus are equal rank and on equal footing, and this can be seen as a symbolic passing of the Pink Panther torch.

The character of Claude Russo is an interesting one. For the second time Blake Edwards has a man impersonating a woman in a Pink Panther film, a theme he would return to in his film Victor/Victoria. The transvestite Russo hijacks Clouseau's car and clothes. Like Jarvis in Strikes Again, Russo is killed. Wearing women's clothing if you are a man is obviously not healthy in the Pink Panther series, and because of his clothes he is automatically assumed to be mad and sectioned in a psychiatric ward, which seems a little bit of an over-reaction. Although Russo stealing Clouseau's clothes set up jokes with him in women's clothing and being sectioned, there is no reason why Russo would steal Clouseau's clothes. Russo's dress is an expensive Dior, which he wears to great effect in his crime wave. Why would he give it away so easily when he does not have to?

Animated Credit Sequences

For the first time since 1968, these were animated by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, who also made the Pink Panther cartoons. The credits' theme again returns to guns and bombs, rather than the cinema of The Return of the Pink Panther and The Pink Panther Strikes Again.

The Inspector, carrying a torch and gun, chases after the Panther. However he is shot at by the Panther repeatedly. They run where giant letters spell 'Revenge of the Pink Panther'. The Inspector, confused as to whether he is seeing his own gun or not, ties a blue ribbon on his pistol's barrel but is shot at by a barrel with a yellow ribbon, while his gun falls apart. He then pulls what appears to be the Panther's tail, but it is a rope with a bomb attached, which explodes and the giant letter 'R' falls down and squashes him.

The letters of the name LOM transform into a dog which attacks the inspector. He brings in a cannon (as Dyan Cannon is the actress playing Simone), but the Panther aims it at him instead. The Inspector is shot at, cut in half by a tommy gun, and electrocuted when the Panther is disguised as a lamp, after which both he and the Panther become neon signs. Cato's credit hits the Inspector while the Panther becomes an artist and musician. The Inspector contends with wet paint, doors opening and bombs, and is hit with the shadow puppet of a mallet by the Panther. The Inspector lights matches and sets fire to fireworks, shortly after which his blimp is destroyed by the Panther. The two characters briefly resolve their difference while Inspector and Panther type together on a typewriter for writers' credits. At the end the Panther lights a fuse that sets his tail alight, but instead the Inspector explodes.

Connections with other films

  • Disguises
    All films in the series feature disguises:
    • Clouseau disguises himself as Toulouse Lautrec.
    • Clouseau disguises himself as Dreyfus.
    • Clouseau disguises himself as a Priest at his own funeral.
    • Clouseau disguises himself as a salty Swedish sea dog with wooden leg and (inflatable) parrot.
    • Clouseau disguises himself in a hat and glasses similar to his telephone repairman disguise when Cato has beard and hat.
    • When they fly to Hong Kong, Cato, Simone and Clouseau all adopt disguises. Cato wears a hat and very thick glasses, Simone and Clouseau become a Chinese couple, Mr & Mrs Low Key.
    • Clouseau disguises himself as a gangster Godfather. Beneath this disguise is bright red underwear with the large label 'Balls'.
    • Claude Russo disguises himself by wearing women's clothes, later worn by Clouseau.
    • When Dreyfus reads Clouseau's eulogy he disguises his laughter as crying.
  • Clouseau Clumsiness:
    • After being 'beumed', a still smouldering Clouseau accidentally sets fire to a police file, the Commissioner's bin and desk and sets off the sprinkler, catching a cold in the process.
    • Clouseau falls down the hole in his apartment twice.
    • Clouseau almost castrates himself in an electric fan.
    • Clouseau falls off a jetty into the water.
    • Clouseau and Cato fall into a boulangerie.
    • Clouseau stands on Cato's éclair.
    • Clouseau sets fire to his borrowed robe, similar to his coat in A Shot in the Dark.
    • Clouseau chokes on cotton wool as part of his Godfather disguise.
    • Clouseau falls off a gantry when launching the 'Gannet'.
    • Clouseau is sat on by a pigeon and his sword breaks when he is decorated by French President, who catches his tie on Clouseau's medal.
    • Clouseau manages to break a lamp and his car, the Silver Hornet, falls apart twice.
    • Clouseau's clumsiness does come in handy, as he falls on top of Douvier's killers, thus saving Simone's life.
  • Clouseau is not the only clumsy character. Cato drives off the quayside twice, bumps into things, spills all of a drink he is making and gets his head trapped in a lift. Dreyfus falls out of a revolving door, similar to Clouseau's experience of revolving doors in The Return of the Pink Panther.
  • Dreyfus ignites a warehouse full of fireworks, gunpowder and explosives, in an ending similar to the climax of Princess Dala's party in The Pink Panther.
  • Faint hearted:
    • Dreyfus faints three times: when he spots Clouseau hiding in his closet, when he sees Clouseau at his grave and when he sees Clouseau in his apartment. Clouseau had previously fainted in a similar fashion in The Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark.
  • Again a phone call ends the fight between Cato and Clouseau, this time from Douvier.
  • Clouseau is again arrested – this time for wearing women's clothing.
  • Clouseau again gets soaked, this time caused by the rain, and is invited into Simone's apartment where she is worried he will catch pneumonia.
  • Cato drives an icecream scooter, similar to Clouseau's fish vehicle in Inspector Clouseau.
  • Once again Dreyfus tries to kill Clouseau.


Curiously, when this film was marketed, the trailer constantly calls Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau 'André Clouseau'.


Unlike the other two Panther films made in the 1970s no novelisation was published; instead, the screenplay was released. The front cover is similar to the illustration used in the opening credits; however it is the Inspector character from the television series rather than the opening credits of the films seen squashed. The screenplay contains black and white photographs of the making of the film, and shows how much of the performance by Sellers was unscripted.

There are some changes, especially near the end. Instead of the climax in the firework warehouse at the Lee Quay Shipyard, the ending has all the characters driving around the Yang Chow Shipyard while an old man attempts to cross the road, before resulting in a giant crash in an identical fashion to The Pink Panther. Dreyfus is also encouraged by his psychiatrist to visit Clouseau and bury the hatchet, which he does. However in the screenplay the Clouseau apartment is still a brothel, with 'Chief Inspector Dreyfus' the new password. As soon as Dreyfus announces himself he is thrust into a session with Tanya.

The Pink Panther Films
The Pink Panther (1964) | A Shot In The Dark | Inspector Clouseau
The Return of the Pink Panther | The Pink Panther Strikes Again | Revenge of the Pink Panther
Trail of the Pink Panther | Curse of the Pink Panther | Son of the Pink Panther

1Detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act.2Voice by Michael Bell.

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