Peter Sellers is one of the most legendary actors of the 20th century, not only for his comedy and versatility, but also his ability to improvise. Those who knew him and worked closely enough to witness his methods first-hand have told stories of his ingenious improve. It has been said that a large number of his lines were thought up during production. These are just a few examples of the comedic visionary in action.
A Shot in the Dark
After being summoned to investigate a murder, Inspector Clouseau aka The Pink Panther, finds himself interrogating a butler and a maid, who is suspected of pulling the trigger. The Butler, while explaining his version of the events that transpired,indicates the maid, Maria Gambrelli, who is played by Elke Sommer. When the butler asks, conveying disbelief, “You believe her?” Clouseau responds with the ominous words, “I believe everything, and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone, and I suspect no one.” Classic!
“Nothing matters but the facts. Without them, the science of criminal investigation is nothing more than a guessing game,” Clouseau explains. He is convinced that Maria Gambrelli is covering for the true murderer, which would have explained the “still smoking gun” left in her hand after the shooting. Soon after being removed from the investigation, he’s back on the case, by some miracle, educating HerculeLaJoy on his masterful insight into the cases intricate details. Once he has expertly laid out the intricate details of the event, he leaves us with his famous line, “What was that you said?”
The Pink Panther scores, once again, with his perfectly timed charm. During a brief visit to discuss the case, Maria Gambrelli, manages to transform the moderately arrogant Clouseau into an awkward Casanova. In an attempt to impress her with a show of strength, he makes a call to address her complaint about prison conditions (where she is being temporarily detained). While waiting for response from the prison superintendent, he tells Gambrelli,“sometimes it’s necessary to cut through the red tape and cut directly at the heart of the matter. “Brilliant!
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Upon accepting the task of capturing former Chief Inspector Dryfus, who has escaped an asylum and threatened the world, Clouseau delivers a moving speech. In response to Superintendent Quinlan’s warning that the job won’t be easy. “Nothing ever is,” Clouseau says, with confidence.“Perhaps that is why I always fail where others have succeeded. To me, the greater the odds, the greater the challenge (pronounced shallonge).” Afterwards, he exits with is famous words, “the case is solved.”
The Return of the Pink Panther
I this particular scene, Clouseau is confronted by a livid Chief Inspector Dryfus, who has been forced to reinstate the disaster prone police offer. When Dryfus screams, “I want you out of my office in five seconds!” Clouseau replies, with that remarkable Pink Panther wit, “Five seconds is nothing. I can be out of here in three.” And once again, “the case is solved.”
Revenge of the Pink Panther
Taking on the ultimate challenge, Inspector Clouseau, who is thought to be dead, goes undercover as Chief inspector Dryfus and infiltrates what turns out to be Cato’s “Chinese nookie house.” As he is overtaken by Tanya, who is an employee of the establishment, he exclaims, “I warn you, Tanya that eats the Lotus. I am opposed to women’slibs. Man is the master and women’s place is in the home!” This has to be one of his gut-shattering, laugh out loud pieces of dialog in the movie, if not the series.