Peter Sellers died from a sudden heart attack on July 24, 1980. He was only 54. Just 8 days before, on July 16th, he and Jim Moloney had prepared a script for a new Pink Panther movie called Romance of the Pink Panther. The script has never been released as a film.
Jim Moloney was a fellow actor and also a writer. He was one of the writers for the 1980 movie The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu which starred Peter Sellers.
The 115 page script has been obtained by Pink Panther Mania. The planned movie begins:
We SEE that her breakfast has been set up on a small table in front of the double French doors and overlooking the city.
YO YO, a very cute and pixieish Japanese maid, enters carrying a tray.
YO YO: Good morning, Comtesse.
ANASTASIA: Good morning, Yo Yo.
Anastasia picks up a large scrapbook from her ornate desk and crosses to the breakfast table and sits. Yo Yo serves her, pouring coffee.
Anastasia takes a sip of her coffee and slowly begins flipping through the book. We SEE that it is entirely devoted to Jacques Clouseau. She stops on an 8 x 10 GLOSSY of Clouseau, wherein he is being decorated by the President of France. She removes the photograph from the scrapbook.
After the initial credits for the beginning of the movie, the first scene shows Inspector Clouseau disguised as a chair.
Believe me, Chief Inspector, in this, my unique Louis XIV chair disguise, you can be sat upon without fear of detection anywhere in the world, especially in France. You will hear and feel everything.
Later, it is mentioned that Cato is no longer Clouseau’s assistant, although no reason is given.
Paul Dreyfus is then introduced as a character from prior Pink Panther movies.
LARGE PHOTOGRAPH OF CLOUSEAU
It is mounted on a dart board which bears the inscription: YOU DO VOODOO. In the b.g. we HEAR A TELEPHONE ANSWERING MACHINE. A dart, with a carved grimacing face and a small panache of feathers, whizzes into Clouseau’s left eye.
This is a very small, two room office which is sparsely furnished. A hotplate sites on top of a file cabinet, keeping a pot of coffee warm. A sign has been painted on the dirty window, which we SEE in reverse: PROTECTION DE PARIS : PAUL DREYFUS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.
DREYFUS, in a Phillip Marlowe-type trenchcoat, is seated behind his desk. He is twitching furiously as he listens to the telephone answering machine. A glass filled with voodoo darts is on the desk in front of him.
We HEAR the phone click and a long WHINE as we wait for the next call. Dreyfus hurls another dart at the picture of Clouseau.
Paul Dreyfus then gets a client. A play on words, his client is Claude Cuckhold who is complaining that his wife has been cheating on him.
Later, when investigating the cheating on Cuckhold at a local market, Cato makes his appearance. Then does Clouseau. Cato sees Clouseau and takes off running, but is finally caught inside a telephone booth.
CATO: No! No! I happy now. I will not work again for you. You have broken nearly all my bones and I have severe internal injuries … also maybe fractured skull!! Laundry easy work, more dirt, more money.
CLOUSEAU: Cato, what are injuries between friends? I need you! Come back to me Cato, and I guarantee you will get something substantial.
CATO: But in laundry I get side benefits.
CLOUSEAU: What side benefits?
After more discussion and an agreement to get something “substantial”, Cato finally agrees to return to work for the inspector. Of course, a substantial battle later ensured at Clouseau’s abode.
FIGHT TO BE CHOREOGRAPHED
Warily Clouseau and Cato begin to circle each other in a posture of the latest martial arts technology, strange BIRDLIKE sounds emitting from both of them. As they circle, each one grabs the toilet paper, using it in an attempt to dry themselves off. As a result, both of them have lengths of toilet paper sticking on various parts of their bodies.
TRACKING SHOT CLOUSEAU AND CATO
Cautiously they move out of the bathroom and down the hall, continuing with the birdlike sounds.
ANOTHER ANGLE – FAVORING CATO
Abruptly Cato whirls and runs down the hall away from Clouseau.
He stops and watches Cato in complete astonishment.
When Cato reaches the end of the hall he turns toward Clouseau again and charges toward him in a series of Kungfu cartwheels. Clouseau is even more astonished. He stands there in his Kungfu stands, still emitting bird sounds, until Cato is almost upon him. At that point he moves deftly to the door of the small store room and opens it. Cato goes sailing through and Clouseau closes the door. We HEAR an ear-shattering crash. After a beat when then HEAR a gentle tapping at the front door.
ANOTHER ANGLE – INCLUDING INTERIOR OF STOREROOM
Clouseau throws open the door and we see that Cato is impaled in a large box, which the vacuum cleaner hose around his neck and other paraphernalia on top of him.
The movie then continues when Anastasia seeks Clouseau’s services relating to her brother, who has become involved with a powerful crime lord. He becomes entranced by her beauty.
Additional scenes of hilarity then ensue in the script, including Clouseau making millions playing the roulette wheel.
The movie then reaches a climatic ending.
CLOSE – TELEVISION SCREEN
The CAMERA is close on Clouseau and Anastasia as they are being married. A suction-type dart sticks squarely on the television screen on the back of Clouseau’s head.
PAUL DREYFUS’ VOICE: Incurable dandruff and eczema.
CAMERA PULLS BACK
revealing Paul Dreyfus sitting behind his desk watching Clouseau’s wedding. He is twitching, giggling and has plainly gone completely bananas. He picks up TWO TOY PISTOLS from his desk and shoots them both simultaneously at the television screen.
INT. TYPICAL FRENCH COUNTRY CHURCH
The ceremony is over and Clouseau is just placing the ring on Anastasia’s finger. The church is packed and we SEE the television crew with telephone lens shooting the wedding.
CLOUSEAU, ANASTASIA AND PRIEST
PRIEST: I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.
A FULL CHOIR beings to SING. Clouseau kisses Anastasia, then turns and kisses the maid of honor, Yo Yo, as Anastasia kisses the best man, the Commissioner.
CLOUSEAU AND COMMISSIONER
They shake hands.
COMMISSIONER: Congratulations, Jacques. May I confess something to you that has been on my mind for years?
CLOUSEAU: Of course, Commissioner.
COMMISSIONER: You remind me very much of that fellow in the Pink Panther pictures.
ANASTASIA (joining in) Yes, that’s right … you do look like him, darling.
CLOUSEAU: Strange, when most people chase me for my autograph they think I’m Paul Newman.
We HEAR the chords of the organ reverberate through the church as the organist breaks out with the traditional wedding celebration music.
CLOUSEAU AND ANASTASIA
They turn and begin to run happily down the aisle.
ANOTHER ANGLE – FAVORING CATO IN THE CHOIR BALUSTRADE
Just as Clouseau and Anastasia pass under the choir balustrade we SEE Cato, dressed in a choirboy’s outfit, pop up. He leaps over the balustrade and down on Clouseau.
END CREDITS ROLL OVER FIGHT – TO BE CHOREOGRAPHED.
Although it is difficult to determine, from these few isolated snippets, whether the movie would have been funny and successful, we will never know due to the untimely death of Peter Sellers shortly after this movie script was prepared.