Two very different crime movies opened today, starting with the original Pink Panther, an agreeable farce that spawned a similarly agreeable franchise. They existed primarily as a showcase for Peter Sellers’ comedic talents, which is interesting considering that Sellers’ bumbling Inspector Clouseau was a secondary character in the original film (and less of a buffoon to boot). But, in typical Sellers fashion, he stole the show out from under everyone’s noses, and director Blake Edwards crafted subsequent films around him. the original opened today in 1964.
On the other end of the emotional spectrum lies Basic Instinct, a would-be erotic thriller that — for better or worse — turned Sharon Stone into a big star. Some of that lies in the sheer novelty value of The Beaver Shot Heard Round the World, but as femme fatales go, she’s not half bad. Pity the movie itself is such a sleazy piece of crap (albeit a notable one). It opened today in 1992.