Blu-ray
Highly Recommended
4.5 stars
List Price
$99.99
Amazon
$68.54 (31%)
3rd Party
$68.53
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»
Overall Grade
4.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4.5 Stars
Supplements
5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Highly Recommended

The Pink Panther Film Collection

Street Date:
June 27th, 2017
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
June 30th, 2017
Movie Release Year:
1963
Studio:
Shout Select
Length:
630 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
PG
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

In this day and age, it's amazing to think that there was once a time where the word "franchise" was really only described by people starting a McDonald's restaurant. The idea of a sequel isn't anything new but shared universes or the idea of a sprawling multi-film series was relatively unheard of. That's what makes the legacy of Peter Sellers hilarious turn as the bumbling confident yet dimwitted French detective Jacques Clouseau and The Pink Panther Film Collection so endearing. Through fourteen years and five films - and a sixth cobbled together from cut footage - Peter Sellers embodied physical comedy and deadpan genius as the famed Inspector Clouseau under the watch of legendary writer/director Blake Edwards. While each film varies in terms of comedic success, Sellers and Edwards crafted some of the best comedies that several other stars and directors have tried and failed to replicate. 

The whole show started in 1964 with The Pink Panther, the first of six film collaborations between Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards. While people were eagerly plowing through Agatha Christie novels each year, they were also burning through detective yarns in theaters making the timing for this comedic farce picture perfect. Sellers Brought a natural comedic timing to the character of a detective who believes he's the smartest, cleverest man in the room - but is, in fact, a complete imbecile. His blend of physical comedic timing with deadpan delivery made Inspector Clouseau an instant sensation. Even with David Niven getting top billing along side Robert Wagner and Capucine, Peter Sellers was the stand out star of the moment. As fans enjoyed Clouseau's hijinks, they called for more from the bumbling detective and Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards were all too happy to oblige. 

1965's A Shot In The Dark saw the return of Jacques Clouseau to cinema screens. With Blake Edwards returning to direct and co-write alongside The Exorcist writer William Peter Blatty, A Shot in the Dark would quickly become the perfect spoof for the classic "who done it?" murder mystery. Playing every single angle of a traditional Christie murder mystery, Clouseau is played with the confidence of Hercule Poirot with only a fraction of the natural intellect. Clouseau may be right about the case but for all the wrong reasons and how he goes about gathering evidence is particularly unorthodox - yet intensely hilarious. This film also introduced franchise side characters the permanently stressed out Chief Inspector Dreyfus played by Herbert Lom as well as Clouseau's man servant and Karate sparring partner Kato played by Burt Kwouk. As Sellers and Edwards were more interested in other comedic endeavors, Clouseau fans would have to wait over a decade for a good and proper sequel. 

The Pink Panther Film Collection

From 1975 to 1978, fans were given heaping heavy doses of Clouseau hilarity with Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and Revenge of the Pink Panther. While 11 years is a long wait, Return of the Pink Panther proved that neither Edwards or his star collaborator Peter Sellers had lost a step. The screwball buffoonery may have been dialed up several notches making Clouseau an even bigger bumbling fool, but the comedic timing and deadpan wit remained razor sharp. It's been said that Sellers and Edwards were never close friends and often had a contentious frustrating relationship, but they had a pitch-perfect sense of comedy making them the best of collaborators. While the sequels gradually became more and more silly, the wit and skill of Edwards and Sellers made these films some of the best comedies ever produced. 

Sadly, this amazing collaboration was tragically cut short with the sudden death of Sellers in 1980. From there, the Pink Panther franchise would limp onward under Blake Edwards' watch with the humorous but misguided Trail of the Pink Panther, the uninspired Curse of the Pink Panther, and the unnecessary Son of the Pink Panther. Without Sellers as an active participant, key comedic elements were lost and simply could not be replicated no matter who stood in front of the camera or how much archival cut footage was used. 

The Pink Panther Film Collection - A Shot In The Dark

Without over stating things, I was born into a Pink Panther house. My family loved these movies. From VHS to DVD, we proudly purchased each of the original five Peter Sellers Panther films. Whenever we were stuck trying to find the right movie for an evening's entertainment, we could always rely on one of these terrific films to get us laughing. It didn't matter how many times we've seen them, the jokes would always land time and time again. While each film has its charms and there is something to love and appreciate about them, my two standout favorites are A Shot in the Dark and the looney The Pink Panther Strikes Again

I put A Shot in the Dark above all others simply because it spoofs one of my favorite genres, the "who done it?" with perfect precision. With a great supporting cast featuring George Sanders and Elke Summer alongside the previously mentioned Burt Kwouk and Herbert Lom, all of the best elements that would be indicative of the franchise coalesced in A Shot in the Dark. After a successful reintroduction of the character with Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again simply picked up all of those great pieces established in A Shot in the Dark and ran with them to comedic glory. While I do greatly enjoy Revenge of the Pink Panther as a terrific spoof on 70s gangster and exploitation flicks, the franchise was starting to show its age. And with the death of Sellers, everything should have stopped there. I don't begrudge Edwards wanting to pay tribute to Sellers with Trail of the Pink Panther, the film itself just doesn't work as a true movie, but more as a compilation of deleted scenes making it the cinematic equivalent of a home video bonus feature. It's got funny moments, but it isn't really much of a movie to speak of. 

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

I'm glad to be able to say that for over 30 years I've still found these movie entertaining. There isn't a strong vibe of nostalgia pulling me back to them, it's a genuine appreciation of the comedic talents that brought these films to life that I love seeing. As one can see with the Panther films absent Peter Sellers or Blake Edwards, they just don't work without them. These films couldn't have worked without the two men collaborating together. The Pink Panther Film Collection brings the best of the films together in a nice and neat little package that celebrates the combined comedic genius that Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers brought to the screen. 

The Pink Panther - 3/5

A Shot in the Dark - 5/5

Return of the Pink Panther - 3.5/5

The Pink Panther Strikes Again - 4/5

Revenge of the Pink Panther - 4/5

Trail of the Pink Panther - 2/5

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray 

The Pink Panther Film Collection arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout! Factory via their Shout Select label as a six-disc Blu-ray set. Each film is given its own Region A BD-50 disc, and all discs are housed in a six-disc Blu-ray case with slip case. Also included is a ten-page essay booklet that contains stills and promotional materials throughout the series. Each disc loads directly to a static image main menu with traditional navigation options. 

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

The Pink Panther 

At first glance this would appear to be the same 2.35:1 1080p transfer supplied for the 2009 Blu-ray release from MGM - not to say that's a bad thing - but as the film plays out, some of the more notable defects of the previous release appear to have been mitigated. While that release was very good and still holds up well today, the grain field could appear a bit noisy and lead to a somewhat irritation strobing effect. That strobing effect is still visible, but it isn't nearly as distracting as before while the appearance of fine film grain has been retained. Detail levels are just as strong and robust as they were for the 2009 release. All you have to do is look at the assortment of 60s fashions to appreciate the detail levels. Facial features come through with great clarity allowing you see every hair on Sellers' fine-trimmed mustache. Colors are still primary rich allowing reds, yellows, and blues to pop off the screen with great delight. Black levels are inky giving the image that desirable sense of depth and dimension. Age-related wear and tear are minimal with only some very slight speckling to report. 4/5

The Pink Panther Film Collection - A Shot In The Dark

A Shot in the Dark 

With a fresh new 4K scan of the interpositive, A Shot In the Dark enjoys a bold new HD life on Blu-ray. As this is my favorite film of the series, I'm delighted with the results - such as they are. To be fair and honest, A Shot In The Dark has always had clarity and color issues throughout its home video lifespan featuring rough looking transitions, overly dark scenes, softness, and some slightly bleached looking colors. Admittedly those issues are apparent with this transfer, but the severity has been greatly mitigated. The frames surrounding optical transitions are still round around the edges, but the color loss doesn't last as long. In general, primaries are much stronger - the blood on the gardening sheers Maria holds sports a rich crimson color while blues and yellows are given plenty of pop. Detail levels are strong and clarity is leaps and bounds above the previous DVD release. Black levels can get a little think at times, almost verging on crush levels, but thankfully there is enough shadow separation to maintain a nice three-dimensional appearance. While not completely perfect - a full restoration effort would be required for that - this is easily the best the film has ever looked on home video. 4/5

The Return of the Pink Panther

Return of the Pink Panther

As this film has endured an odd life on home video, the 2.35:1 1080p transfer supplied for Return of the Pink Panther struggles on Blu-ray. One moment the image will be pristine with terrific details, wonderful colors, and great black levels. The next scene can appear to be a messy blend of bleached colors, rough details, and black levels that nearly crushes the life out of the image without any shadow separation to speak of. Considering this film was never released by MGM on DVD with the only official releases coming from the now defunct Artisan Home Entertainment - I'm not at all surprised the image for this transfer is in the state that it is. When it's great, this film enjoys some pretty terrific looking scenes full of rich colors, healthy flesh tones, inky blacks and little sign of age-related wear and tear. You can also appreciate the disguises Clouseau wears, his fake nose when he's pretending to be housekeeping is pretty great. When it's at its worst, it's pretty rough looking and the changes can be a bit jarring. Thankfully, most of the film looks terrific and the problem scenes are few and relatively far between. 3.5/5

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

With a fresh 4K scan of the interpositive, The Pink Panther Strikes Again makes a great entrance on Blu-ray with this 2.35:1 1080p transfer. Fine film grain is visible without looking too noisy. Finer details like facial features, costuming, and scenery enjoys a nice sharpness and presence. Colors are bright and bold with strong primaries. Blues and reds have a particularly notable presence while green grass and leaves look gorgeous. Black levels are strong, perhaps a tad too strong in places leading to a loss of image depth, but overall they look great and outdoor scenes, in particular, look amazing. However, some indoor scenes - like the opening with Dreyfus and his psychologist - feature some noisy grain and strobing while black levels can be a bit too thick and almost swallow up any fine detail definition. The psychologist's navy blue necktie almost appears solid black in some shots. Some shots also display some slight speckling. Thankfully those moments are few and far between leaving this transfer to be a clear upgrade over any previous home video release to date. 4/5

Revenge of the Pink Panther

Revenge of the Pink Panther

While this transfer doesn't appear to have been given the fresh 4K scan of the interpositive as some of its siblings have, Revenge of the Pink Panther does make a terrific Blu-ray debut with this 2.35:1 1080p transfer. Fine film grain is apparent without being noisy or suffers from any strobing effects as some of the previous transfers. Details are fantastic allowing you to see and appreciate the goofy disguises Clouseau uses, as well as Professor Balls' costume shop and all of the bizarre stuff found inside. Colors are bright and bold with a strong primary presence throughout. Black levels are spot on and give the image a terrific sense of depth - Clouseau's apartment after it's been transformed into a brothel looks particularly fantastic. The only serious issue of note is some persistent speckling throughout and a few visible vertical scratches that crop up from time to time but disappear relatively quickly. Consider me impressed with the final results here. 4/5

Trail of the Pink Panther

Trail of the Pink Panther

As this 2.35:1 1080p transfer doesn't appear to have been struck from a recent scan, it does sport a strong, detailed appearance, but it has several baked in issues. Film grain isn't quite as apparent as previous entries resulting in a somewhat softer appearance. Strobing is also apparent in some of the archival footage. While middle shots and close-ups look pretty good, finer details are lacking at times. Part of the issue at hand is the fact that all of the Sellers footage is made up of cut scenes throughout the series. To make these scenes work, new footage was shot to link things together and the results may work for continuity but the visual appearance is inconsistent. It's also very obvious when a Sellers stand in was used. Some footage suffers from heavier wear and tear with more speckling and a few scratches, jitter is also an issue throughout. Colors are generally good with strong primaries. Flesh tones are also on point. Black levels fluctuate depending on the age of the source footage but are overall stable and give the image a sense of depth. While a bit problematic, this transfer is far from being a disaster nor is it the best of this set. 3/5

The Audio: Rating the Sound

The Pink Panther

This film is given three audio tracks for fans to pick through and choose which one suits their audio palate. You're given the option of a DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0 Stereo, or a 1.0 mono track. All three tracks handle dialogue nicely, although the 5.1 seems to be a bit softer in that department requiring a boost in volume. Sound effects for each mix are spot on and provide a nice sense of atmosphere while also playing up some of the film's more cartoonish comedic elements. The film's main musical number comes through perfectly. No hiss or audio issues are detected for any of the tracks. Of the three, I prefer the 2.0 stereo mix. It's given more space to breathe than the mono track but doesn't suffer some of the quieter dialogue issues of the 5.1 mix. Really it's a taster's choice, so give each a shot and find the one that works best for your setup. 

The Pink Panther Film Collection - A Shot In The Dark

A Shot in the Dark

Like The Pink Panther, A Shot in the Dark is packed with three audio mixes to choose from -- a DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0 stereo, and a 1.0 Mono mix. Overall, I would say that either one of these will get the job done perfectly. And again, it's going to come down to preference as each one handles dialogue well with strong sound effects, as well as giving Mancini's score the prominence it deserves. It's actually difficult to choose one over the other, as they each have their strengths. While the 5.1 mix does have slightly quieter dialogue that would need to be compensated for with a boost in volume, the rest of the track enjoys a great amount of space and atmosphere. The stereo mix has some nice room to breathe while being very front-loaded and direct. The mono mix is perfectly great as well only it doesn't enjoy the same sense of imaging as the other tracks. As I said, all are great so find the one that suits your needs.  

The Return of the Pink Panther

Return of the Pink Panther

Much like its video transfer, The Return of the Pink Panther isn't given the star treatment and is only provided with a DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono track. Overall, this is a very good track, the dialogue comes through with terrific clarity and there is an appreciable sense imaging to the mix. It's also a very well-layered mix as the principal elements enjoy plenty of space. That Mancini score, especially the low LFE heavy tones of the opening heist play up nicely. However, I did note a few instances of hiss, here and there, but they're hardly a deal breaker. Again, considering it's sad home video history, this is better than I'd hoped and I'm glad Shout! was able to pull a string or two to make sure this film was included in this set. 

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Arriving with English DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0, and 1.0 mono audio tracks, The Pink Panther Strikes Again makes a terrific auditory debut. As with the previous films that are given this sort of audio mix, you get to pick the one that best works for your setup. All are great mixes but the 5.1 track offers up a better balance between dialogue, sound effects, and Henry Mancini's score. There is a great sense of atmosphere and imaging throughout. The stereo and mono tracks are great in of themselves, but I've got to tip my hat to the 5.1 mix this time around. The antics Sellers pulls off as well as various locations and audio gags lend themselves well to this well-balanced surround mix.

Revenge of the Pink Panther

Revenge of the Pink Panther

Like most of the Pink Panther films found in this set, Revenge of the Pink Panther arrives with a trio of audio tracks, DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0, and 1.0 mono. Again, all are great mixes and serve the needs of the film perfectly with crystal clear dialogue, great sound effects balance and gives Henry Mancini's score the required attention. For my money, I'd have to say the 5.1 mix is the best of the bunch as there isn't any notable softness in the dialogue and the sound effects and scoring provide a terrific sense of imaging while also keying up atmospherics. Again, all are great, if you prefer the stereo or the mono track, you're going to have a great time regardless. 

Trail of the Pink Panther

Trail of the Pink Panther

Like it's video counterpoint, the DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0, and 1.0 mono audio tracks for Trail of the Pink Panther are at the mercy of the cut footage they were sourced from. Some scenes sound great, others feature softer than normal dialogue levels. To this point, whichever track you use, you're likely going to need to keep a thumb on the volume to keep your levels in check. Sound effects and scoring are overall strong lending to the comedy elements and the always great work from Henry Mancini. Taken as a whole these audio tracks are on point and work well for the film. 

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

All six films within The Pink Panther Film Collection enjoy their own discs as well as a pretty terrific assortment of new and vintage bonus features. From new interviews and audio commentaries to vintage featurettes and trailers, you may need to take some time off work to comb through everything this set has to offer. As with his commentary for Son of the Pink Panther, Jason Simos provides an excellent amount of information about the franchise, Sellers and his relationship with Edwards, and trivia about the individual films. Fans will absolutely want to give these a listen

The Pink Panther

Audio Commentary Featuring writer/director Blake Edwards, this is the same great commentary that was featured on the previous Blu-ray release from 2009.

New Interview With Actress Claudia Cardinale (HD 11:11 in French with English Subtitles) The legendary actress provides a great bit of information packed into a relatively short amount of time 

The Pink Panther Story (SD 28:44)

Behind The Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon (SD10:52)

A Conversation with Robert Wagner: Coolest Cat in Cortina (HD 10:56)

Diamonds: Beyond the Sparkle (SD 6:55)

The Tip-toe Life of a Cat Burglar (SD 9:45)

Trailers (HD/SD 3:52)

Photo Gallery

A Shot In The Dark

A Shot in the Dark

Audio Commentary Featuring Jason Simos of the Peter Sellers Appreciation Society. 

Back to the Start: The Origin of The Pink Panther (HD 23:10) This is a new interview with Production Company Chief Walter Mirisch and he covers a lot of ground here with nice bits about the franchise as a whole. 

Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews on the Dick Cavett Show (SD 7:06) It's Dick Cavett, it's an awesome interview + it's extra funny because Edwards brought outtakes of Sellers on A Shot In The Dark and him losing it after improvising a series of lines. Some great stuff - I wish more of this material was available. 

Theatrical Trailer (HD/SD 9:54)

Photo Galleries

The Return of the Pink Panther

The Return of the Pink Panther

Audio Commentary Featuring Jason Simos of the Peter Sellers Appreciation Society

New Interview with Actress Catherine Schell (HD 21:48) Schell offers up some great details about working on the film, with Sellers, and getting cast for the project. 

New Interview with Production Designer Peter Mullins (HD 28:03) Mullins gives a nice interview here offering up plenty of details about the Panther films he worked on and designing the sets and look for each location. 

The Return of Laughter (SD 8:21) This is a vintage EPK making-of featurette from 1975

Theatrical Trailer (HD/SD 6:09)

TV Spot (SD 3:25)

Radio Spots (2:29)

Photo Galleries

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Audio Commentary Featuring Jason Simos of the Peter Sellers Appreciation Society

Panther Musings (HD 21:49) A new interview with actress Lesley-Anne Down, she offers up a great amount of detail about getting started in films and being cast for this sequel. 

A Cut Above: Editing The Pink Panther Films (HD 24:31) A cool new interview with longtime editor Alan Jones who started out as an assistant on the first film but ended up getting credit after reshoots, and followed the series from there. 

Clouseau: The Greatest Fumbler In The World (SD 7:18) This is a vintage promotional EPK featurette 

Trailers (HD/SD 5:54)

TV Spots (SD 2:56)

Radio Spots (2:55)

Photo Galleries

The Pink Panther Film Collection

Revenge of the Pink Panther 

Audio Commentary Featuring Author and historian William Patrick Maynard

Theatrical Trailers (HD/SD 3:04)

TV Spots (SD 1:57) 

Radio Spots (2:21)

Photo Galleries

Trail of the Pink Panther

Trail of the Pink Panther

Audio Commentary Featuring Author and historian William Patrick Maynard

Theatrical Trailers (HD/SD 3:22)

Photo Galleries

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

No HD exclusive content. 

Final Thoughts

If you've been waiting for all of the Pink Panther films to make their way to Blu-ray, I'm happy to say your day has come. The Pink Panther Film Collection gathers together all of the Peter Sellers Pink Panther in one slick six-disc package (though, it's not technically a complete Pink Panther set -- you'll need to turn to Kino Lorber Studio Classics for Inspector Clouseau, Curse of the Pink Panther, and Son of the Pink Panther to complete the entire collection).

Shout Factory has outdone themselves with this release. The best films of the bunch sport fresh new 4K scans, as well as multiple audio tracks to chose from. On top of strong A/V presentation for each film, there are hours of terrific bonus features for fans to pick through. As this series of films feature Sellers' best comedic efforts, The Pink Panther Film Collection is a fan's delight and should be considered highly recommended. 

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray
  • Six-Disc Blu-ray Set

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 2.35:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • English DTS-HD MA 2.0
  • English DTS-HD MA 1.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH

Supplements

  • Audio Commentaries
  • New Interviews
  • Vintage Featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Radio Spots
  • Photo Galleries

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about our gear.

Puzzled by the technical jargon in our reviews, or wondering how we assess and rate HD DVD and Blu-ray discs? Learn about our review methodology.

List Price
$99.99
Amazon
$68.54 (31%)
3rd Party
$68.53
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»

Related reviews