The Correct Order To Watch The Pink Panther Movies

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Because of how long the franchise has lasted, it can be hard to figure out where to jump into the “Pink Panther” series. Really, the only question that matters is quality — with one major exception, none of the movies have any continuing plot threads. Besides that, the plots are intentionally absurd — lightly parodic framing devices for Inspector Clouseau to bump his head or trip over anything in the frame.

As Clouseau was effectively created by Peter Sellers and director Blake Edwards, one should start with the movies they made together. Those movies came from two men with a deep abiding love for physical comedy and a desire to take the form to extremes. After Sellers’ death in 1980, the series would need forcibly changed if it was to survive.

Every other take on the character is lacking some key ingredient, although the movies themselves aren’t without charm. Starting out with the Edwards films starring Sellers, you should watch:

  • The Pink Panther (1964)
  • A Shot In The Dark (1964)
  • Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
  • Trail of the Pink Panther (1982)

With the exception of “Trail,” which features a posthumous Sellers performance consisting mostly of outtakes from “Strikes Again” (which itself was vastly cut from Edwards’s original vision) each movie has a similar richness of comedic invention, with great (if increasingly creaky) physical comedy. Blake Edwards kept up with the series after Sellers’s passing, coming up with new protagonists and making two films without Sellers or Clouseau:

  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
  • Son of the Pink Panther (1993)

Lastly, there are the two other takes on Inspector Clouseau, Alan Arkin in 1968 and Steve Martin in the 2000s-era reboot series:

  • Inspector Clouseau (1968)
  • The Pink Panther (2006)
  • The Pink Panther 2 (2009)

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