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A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery | 23 June 1964 (USA)
French police Inspector Jacques Clouseau investigates the murder of Mr.Benjamin Ballon's driver at a country estate.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Dominique Ballon
Graham Stark ...
Moira Redmond ...
Simone
Vanda Godsell ...
Madame LaFarge
Maurice Kaufmann ...
Pierre
Ann Lynn ...
Dudu
David Lodge ...
Georges
André Maranne ...
Martin Benson ...
Maurice
...
Reginald Beckwith ...
Receptionist at nudist camp
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Storyline

When rich M. Ballon's spanish driver is found shot dead, Inspector Jacques Clouseau is the first official on the scene. All evidence suggests Maria Gambrelli, the maid, to be the murderer. But Clouseau, being attracted to the beautiful girl, is convinced that she is hiding something. So, he has her released from jail and tries to follow her secretly. Things do not work out the way the inspector wanted and people keep being murdered, and each time innocent Maria seems to be the killer. But with someone important wanting Clouseau and nobody else to cover this case, his tolerance-challenged boss Charles Dreyfuss is close to losing his mind when casualties keep turning up. And Clouseau keeps on causing trouble without knowing it... Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Sellers the Sleuth... and there's nothing he won't do to track down a body -- dead or alive! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Schuß im Dunkeln  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "synchronize the watches" dialogue was improvised by Peter Sellers and Graham Stark. See more »

Goofs

When Clouseau walks up to the bench where Dudu is "sitting" while at the nudist colony, it is obvious that Peter Sellers is wearing dark-colored swim trunks while holding the guitar. See more »

Quotes

[Accusing a suspect, millionaire Benjamin Ballon]
Clouseau: And I submit, Inspector Ballon, that you arrived home, found Miguel with Maria Gambrelli, and killed him in a rit of fealous jage!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are presented in a cartoon sequence with wording appearing on pieces of paper held by the cartoon characters, and so on. See more »

Connections

Followed by Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Shadows of Paris
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Robert Wells
Performed by Fran Jeffries
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The funniest detective comedy.
17 August 2015 | by (West Bengal, India) – See all my reviews

Based on the French play 'L'Idiote' authored by Marcel Achard and adapted to the American stage by Harry Kurnitz, 'A Shot in the Dark' features Peter Sellers in the lead role of an Inspector with such gifted detective instincts that if he says he can solve a case within "2 seconds", it requires him to experiment with his profound investigative prowess in a full-length feature film to solve it.

'Give me 10 men like Clouseau, and I could destroy the world!' Yes, this great one-liner, uttered by Chief Inspector Dreyfus in a great deal of dismay, indeed outlines the wacky character of 'Inspector Jacques Clouseau' played by Sellers.

'A Shot in the Dark' is the second installment of the 'Pink Panther' Series, and the funniest of them all. The plot is simple, and goes on like this. Inspector Clouseau is sent to the Ballon residence to investigate the murder of Mr. Ballon's Spanish chauffeur Miguel. The Inspector instantly falls in love with the charming maid, Maria Gambrelli, towards whom all the evidences point a finger. But, Clouseau strongly believes that someone else is the murderer who framed her for murder. He thinks she might know something about it. So he releases her from jail and spies on her. Ill-fated circumstances prevent the Insp from successfully spying her moves, and eventually more murders take place. Is she really the murderer? If not, who framed her? Why would anyone kill a chauffeur? And finally, the most important question.. Will Clouseau be able to solve the case?

As the great Inspector along with his assistant, Hercule LaJoy, solemnly embark on his mission to solve the case, peril seems to find its way one way or the other and ride upon his shoulders, except for when his boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus, is around of course. To Dreyfus just the name of Clouseau is enough to ruin his day. He can't stand sight of Clouseau and hates "every little bit" of him for every time they meet, poor Dreyfus is thrown into the face of adversity within no time, and has to undergo tremendous agony.

All the actors performed well, but it is Sellers who stole the show as the inept detective fumbling and bumbling his way around solving murder mysteries, but mostly bumping into furnitures, snagging crucial areas of his clothes, falling out of windows, pursuing Miss Sommer to a nudist camp and what not.

There is nothing wrong with the Blake Edwards' direction and screenplay. Editing was also upto the mark. Henry Mancini's music, I must also add, is as sassy and frivolous as the film.

The only few minor drawbacks of this film are: Number one, Some portions are repetitive. Like for example, Inspector Clouseau got arrested more than a couple of times for not obtaining selling license in order to sell stuffs such as balloons, paintings, etc. Number two, few comic scenes were way too predictable. You could see them coming. And number three, the ambiguous ending which might leave some audiences wondering who actually murdered whom.

8/10


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