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A Shot in the Dark (1964)

 -  Comedy | Mystery  -  23 June 1964 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 16,170 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 42 critic

As murder follows murder, beautiful Maria is the obvious suspect; bumbling Inspector Clouseau drives his boss mad by seeing her as plainly innocent.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: A Shot in the Dark (1964)

A Shot in the Dark (1964) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. 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
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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:

... The Picture That Gets Away With Murder! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 June 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Shot in the Dark  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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 character of Maria Gambrelli first appears in this film and was played by Elke Sommer. The character resurfaced in Son of the Pink Panther (1993), played this time by Claudia Cardinale, who played Princess Dala in the original The Pink Panther (1963). See more »

Goofs

When Clouseau answers the door bell and finds a package (a clock with a bomb) you can see clearly that someone has left the keys in the door lock as he opens the door. See more »

Quotes

Dreyfus: What about the maid?
Clouseau: The maid?
Dreyfus: Was he jealous of her too? He strangled her.
Clouseau: It is possible that his intended victim was a man and that he made a mistake.
Dreyfus: A mistake?... in a nudist camp?
Clouseau: Nobody's perfect.
Dreyfus: Idiot nincompoop lunatic!
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

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Family Films (2005) 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

 
Panther No Panth, Ith Thill A Thilly Movie
25 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A Shot in the Dark", apparently, was intended to be a screen adaptation of a murder mystery stage play. Somehow, after the character of Inspector Clouseau caught on with audiences in "The Pink Panther", he got thrown into the mix here. The result is a movie that established the very essence of the Pink Panther movie series: murder mysteries where the "brilliant" detective just happened to be a complete klutz with barely enough brain cells to mesh two clues together.

Peter Sellers once again assumes the role of that complete klutz, with even more hilarious results than in "The Pink Panther." The film starts with a murder in the home of a French socialite, with so many shady characters creeping from room to room with lights coming on and off in true Pink Panther style that the audience isn't exactly sure who killed who. Through a bureaucratic mistake, the bumbling Inspector Clouseau is sent in. He meets the most obvious suspect, the beautiful, busty, blonde Elke Sommers, who shares top billing with Sellers. Trusting his hormones rather than the evidence, Clouseau launches a hilarious one-man campaign to prove the blonde's innocence.

A cast of supporting players that would become Pink Panther regulars is established here. Herbert Lom is Clouseau's twisted boss Commissioner Dreyfus. Burt Kwouk is Clouseau's Korean butler who engages in frequent training exercises with his master. Graham Stark, a close friend of Sellers, plays Clouseau's straight-laced side kick. The character wouldn't appear again until "Trail of the Pink Panther", although the actor would go on the play multiple roles throughout the rest of the series.

Henry Mancini scores again, but since Pink Panther wasn't intended to be the name of the franchise at the time, the famous theme music is gone. The new theme, however, is just as catchy and definitely could only be created by Mancini. The animated Pink Panther lurking around during the opening credits is also missing, though a new cast of animated characters takes his place.

Based on a mystery play, the movie is able to lampoon the conventions of murder mysteries pretty well, down to the drawing room conclusion. While the solution to the mystery is scattered, confusing, and almost non-existent, that's not really the point. Pink Panther films are about the comic misadventures of Peter Sellers' character, never about the plot.

With Clouseau finally portrayed as the hero rather than the film's antagonist, "A Shot in the Dark" sets the tone for the rest of the Pink Panther series better than "The Pink Panther" does, though the funniest sequels were still to come.


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