Revenge of the Pink Panther

Revenge of the Pink Panther

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Blake Edwards
Produced by Blake Edwards
Screenplay by Frank Waldman
Ron Clark
Blake Edwards
Story by Blake Edwards
Starring Peter Sellers
Dyan Cannon
Robert Webber
Tony Beckley
Paul Stewart
Herbert Lom
Music by Henry Mancini
Leslie Bricusse (songwriter)
Cinematography Ernest Day
Edited by Alan Jones
Sellers-Edwards Productions
Jewel Productions Limited
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 19, 1978 (1978-07-19)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $12,000,000
Box office $49.5 million[1]

Revenge of the Pink Panther is the sixth film in The Pink Panther comedy film series. Released in 1978, it is the last entry released during the lifetime of Peter Sellers, who died in 1980. It is also the last entry to be distributed solely by United Artists, which was purchased by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1981. The opening credits are animated by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. This is Graham Stark's first stint as Professor Auguste Balls. He portrays him once more in Son of the Pink Panther (1993).[2]


Philippe Douvier (Robert Webber), a major businessman and secretly the head of the French Connection, is suspected by his New York Mafia drug trading partners of weak leadership and improperly conducting his criminal affairs. To demonstrate otherwise, Douvier's aide Guy Algo (Tony Beckley) suggests a show of force with the murder of the famous Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers). Unfortunately for Douvier, his first attempt at bombing Clouseau fails, and the subsequent attempt by Chinese martial artist 'Mr. Chong' (an uncredited appearance by the founder of American Kenpo, Ed Parker) is thwarted when Clouseau successfully fights him off (believing him to be Clouseau's valet Cato (Burt Kwouk), who has orders to keep his employer alert with random attacks). Douvier tries again by posing as an informant to lure Clouseau into a trap, but the Chief Inspector's car and clothes are stolen by transvestite criminal Claude Russo (Sue Lloyd), who is unknowingly killed by Douvier's men instead. Subsequently, Douvier and the French public believe Clouseau is dead; as a result of this assumption, Clouseau's ex-boss, former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), is restored to sanity and is released from the lunatic asylum to perform the investigation (though he was seemingly disintegrated in the previous film).

In Russo's clothes and insisting on his true identity, Clouseau is taken to the asylum himself but escapes into Dreyfus' room, who faints from the shock of seeing Clouseau alive. Clouseau manages to disguise himself as Dreyfus and is driven home by François (André Maranne). At home, Clouseau finds Cato, who, despite having turned Clouseau's apartment into a Chinese-themed brothel, is relieved to see he survived and the two plan revenge on the sponsor of Clouseau's assassination. Meanwhile, Dreyfus is assigned to read an elegy at Clouseau's funeral by the police chief's wife, on pain of his own discharge. During his recital, Dreyfus is barely able to control his incredulity and laughter at the praise of Clouseau, but his reaction is disguised by his tears and muffled laughter. At the cemetery, Clouseau attends the burial disguised as a priest and then surreptitiously reveals himself to Dreyfus, who recognizes him, faints, and falls into the grave. Clouseau escapes.

Meanwhile, due to his unfaithfulness, Douvier's wife threatens him with divorce. Needing her respectability, Douvier tells his secretary and paramour Simone LeGree (Dyan Cannon) that their relationship is over, to which Simone reacts angrily. Fearing that she will reveal his crimes, Douvier gives orders to have Simone killed at her nightclub, but having been told by an informant (Alfie Bass) of the possibility of trouble there, Clouseau and Cato inadvertently manage to save her. At Simone's flat, Clouseau reveals his identity, prompting her to reveal that Douvier ordered Clouseau's assassination. Attacked by more hit men, Clouseau and Simone escape into a nearby flat, which coincidentally happens to be Dreyfus'. Dreyfus overhears Simone telling Clouseau of Douvier's plan to meet the New York Mafia godfather Julio Scallini (Paul Stewart) in Hong Kong, but again faints when he sees him.

After evading their pursuers, Clouseau, Cato, and Simone follow Douvier to Hong Kong in disguise, unaware that the now suspicious Dreyfus has followed them. There, Clouseau impersonates Scallini while Simone distracts the real one, but the plan goes awry when one of Scallini's men spots Douvier leaving their hotel with a stranger and Clouseau exposes his own disguise. A car chase begins, ending in a crash at the Hong Kong docks, where Dreyfus finds Clouseau, goes berserk and pursues him into a firework warehouse. Inside, Dreyfus mistakenly sets the fireworks off and the resulting explosions sow chaos among all the participants, which eventually leads to the arrests of Douvier and Scallini. Clouseau is awarded for their arrest by the President of France, and he and Simone spend an evening together.



The opening animated titles in the film were designed by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, who had been involved with the series since the animated titles of the original 1963 film, The Pink Panther. It was the first time since Inspector Clouseau in 1968 that DePatie-Freleng animated the opening titles of a Pink Panther film (Return and Strikes Again having been done by Richard Williams' Studio). They later went on to produce the animated television series The All-New Pink Panther Show. Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther would be animated by the retitled Marvel Productions.

Cancelled sequel

Romance of the Pink Panther was a Pink Panther film that Sellers was working on—and willing to make without Edwards—before Sellers' fatal heart attack. UA considered recasting the role before convincing Blake Edwards to return to the series. Edwards chose to replace Clouseau with a new character rather than replace Sellers as Clouseau and to utilize outtakes from The Pink Panther Strikes Again to set up a transitional film (Trail of the Pink Panther) with new linking footage shot on the set of the new film (Curse of the Pink Panther).


Composed by Henry Mancini in his fifth Pink Panther, the theme music and much of the soundtrack draw heavily from the disco trends of the late 1970s. The theme itself being reworked to include a more dancy bassline, electric piano and guitar solo.


  1. "Revenge of the Pink Panther, Box Office Information". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  2. Leonard Maltin's 2015 Movie Guide ISBN 9780451468499
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