A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Mystery  |  23 June 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 18,591 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 46 critic

French police Inspector Jacques Clouseau investigates the murder of Mr.Benjamin Ballon's driver at a country estate.



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


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


This is a real high calibre comedy! See more »


Comedy | Mystery


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Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Schuß im Dunkeln  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kato, a Japanese character played by Chinese-English actor Burt Kwouk, is named for the similar character Kato in the Green Hornet radio programs and film serials of the 1930s and 40s. In later Clouseau installments he is renamed Cato, presumably due to intellectual property issues. The original Kato had his nationality revised from Japanese to Korean to Filipino (and would go on to become Chinese in The Green Hornet (1966) and The Green Hornet (2011) which post-date A Shot in the Dark) due to changing social mores, political expediences and convenient casting, and the casting of Kwouk continued this whether by design or not. This mishmash unintentionally added to the humor of Westerners' proverbial inability to distinguish between Asian nationalities. See more »


When Clouseau is carrying Maria up the stairs, the bottle switches from his left hand to his right, while the two glasses in his right hand switch to his left. See more »


Dreyfus: If someone has been murdered here, please let it be Clouseau.
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 »


Follows The Pink Panther (1963) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Classic Peter Sellers comedy
11 July 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

A Shot in the Dark saw the great Peter Sellers reprise what is probably his most iconic role as the inept Inspector Clouseau. It's always obvious why Sellers is so well remembered for this role, as he's absolutely great in it. His mannerisms and quirks help to add to the personality of the character, and despite the fact that this man is overblown to comic book proportions, Sellers succeeds in making the role believable and, more importantly, very fun to watch. The majority of the humour in the film is of the slapstick variety, and while that can be very funny if done the right way; it's not my favourite type of humour. That being said, A Shot in the Dark does many of it's gags correctly, and while the film isn't consistently hilarious; there's enough good humour to ensure a good time to whoever's watching it. Also abundant in this film is classic Brit-flick style, which is great in my opinion. From Hammer Horror to Ealing comedy, I'm a big fan of classic British movies and so this film fits into that nicely.

The plot follows the accident-prone detective as he investigates the case of 'a shot in the dark', which resulted in the death of a man at a country house. The facts add up rather quickly to the maid, Maria (Elke Sommer), who was found at the scene of the crime with a smoking gun in her hand. Things are never that simple when Clouseau is on the case, however, and, convinced that she is a decoy to protect someone higher up the food chain, he proceeds in investigating this open and shut case. Aside from Sellers, this movie also features the talents of Herbert Lom, Elke Sommer and George Sanders, among others. This makes up a good support cast for yours truly, as I'm a big fan of horror and all of these are names in the British section of that genre. The plot of A Shot in the Dark is relatively simply done, but it always manages to find time for gags and humorous set pieces, and even when it appears to be slowing down; you can always count on another laugh being just around the corner. I don't love this movie, but it's definitely very good and marks a highlight in British comedy during the sixties.

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