In 1963, Peter Sellers played the role of bumbling detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the movie, The Pink Panther. Sellers’ performance became so popular that a series of Pink Panther sequels, spin-offs and reboots were produced around his character.

But how many Pink Panther films are there and in what order should they be watched? If you are itching to know the answers to these questions then stick with me, the Pink Panther series is much bigger than you might think.

In this post, I am taking a look at the hugely successful Pink Panther series to provide the best viewing order(s). This might get a little confusing – it is an extensive series after all – so please bear with me as I guide you through it.

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The original Pink Panther series

Image: ©United Artists/MGM

As mentioned above, the first film in the series was 1963’s The Pink Panther. The movie revolved around a jewel thief and the theft of a diamond – the eponymous Pink Panther.

Although not originally intended, the standout star of the movie was Peter Sellers, who gave a scene-stealing turn as Inspector Clouseau. In fact, the part was so popular, Clouseau (once again played by Sellers) became the focus of the next entry in the series – 1964’s A Shot in the Dark.

Image: ©United Artists/MGM
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Due to the success of A Shot in the Dark, a third film was put into production, with the title Inspector Clouseau (1968). However, Sellers was not part of this production, and actor Alan Arkin played the title character.

Sellers returned for the fourth film, The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), as well as a fifth and sixth: The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) and Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), respectively. Plans were then put in place for another movie, however, in 1980 Peter Sellers passed away.

So, that’s the end of the series, right?

Wrong.

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Despite Sellers’ death, production got underway on yet another Pink Panther movie, once again to feature Inspector Clouseau – and rather surprisingly, with Sellers in the role! This film was 1982’s Trail of the Pink Panther, which navigated around Sellers’ passing by utilising deleted scenes and old footage from previous films to include the actor in the movie.

Image: ©United Artists/MGM

Understandably, Trail of the Pink Panther was not well received by fans… but that didn’t halt the series. An eighth entry was released – 1983’s Curse of the Pink Panther – which veered away from Clouseau by focusing on a new character called Sergeant Clifton Sleigh (played by Ted Wass).

And then that was it, right? 

Nope!

Image: ©United Artists/MGM
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One more entry was released in the original run of films, a sequel/spin-off called Son of the Pink Panther (1993). This film centred around Gendarme Jacques Gambrelli – the illegitimate son of Inspector Clouseau.

OK, you can take a pause for a moment – as that brings an end to the original run of films. But how do you watch these movies?

Well, the viewing order is fairly simple, although there is a slight bump in the road.

If you want to watch the Pink Panther movies which either feature or are linked to Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, then you should watch the films in this order:

  • The Pink Panther (1963)
  • A Shot in the Dark (1964)
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
  • Trial of the Pink Panther (1982)
  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
  • Son of the Pink Panther (1993)

Now, you’ll note that the above list contains eight films rather than nine. The film which is missing from this list is 1968’s Inspector Clouseau, as this is not considered to be part of the series.

So, this entry belongs in its own list:

  • Inspector Clouseau (1968)

OK, so that is the original run of films covered, but these nine movies are not the only Pink Panther films. It’s now time for the reboot!

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The Pink Panther reboot series

Image: ©MGM/Sony Pictures

With a series as successful as The Pink Panther it was only a matter of time before it was revived, and in 2006 a reboot arrived in the shape of the unimaginatively titled, The Pink Panther. Steve Martin took on the role of Inspector Clouseau, but the magic of the Sellers era was somewhat missing.

The film was not a hit with critics, and could have easily been chalked up as a one-movie misfire, but it did do pretty well at the box office. The film’s financial popularity was enough for a sequel to be given the green light and this arrived in 2009.

Image: ©MGM/Sony Pictures

Only two films were made in this series. If you wish to watch the Steve Martin Pink Panther films, then view them as follows:

  • The Pink Panther (2006)
  • The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
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Pink Panther poduction order

Image: ©United Artists/MGM

And finally, if all you want from life is just one list of all the Pink Panther films, regardless of what series they belong to, then let me help you out. Here is a list of all the Pink Panther films in production order:

  • The Pink Panther (1963)
  • A Shot in the Dark (1964)
  • Inspector Clouseau (1968)
  • The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
  • Trial of the Pink Panther (1982)
  • Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)
  • Son of the Pink Panther (1993)
  • The Pink Panther (2006)
  • The Pink Panther 2 (2009)

If you follow this list, you will watch all of the Pink Panther films, irrespective of which series they belong to. At times it’ll be a bumpy ride, but see how you get on.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the Pink Panther movie series – I do hope it has proved useful. For more posts, check out the recommended reads below.

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