Inspector Clousseau travels to Rome to catch a notorious jewel thief known as "The Phantom" before he conducts his most daring heist yet--a princess' priceless diamond with one slight imperfection, known as "The Pink Panther."
To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.
Inspector Clouseau disappears, and the Surete wants the world's second best detective to look for him. However, Clouseau's enemy, Dreyfus, rigs the Surete's computer to select, instead, the... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Jacques Clouseau finishes interviewing Maria Gambrelli, the world globe has Australia clearly in view. After she leaves, Clouseau goes to the window, and then goes to spin the globe, and the globe has been repositioned with Australia no longer dominant. See more »
Although "A Shot in the Dark" is really the second film in the Pink Panther series, in many ways it is a beginning, as the first film to showcase Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau as the highlight of the film, overcoming the first film's occasional shortcomings due mainly to devoting too much screen time to David Niven's jewel thief, when what audiences really wanted was more Clouseau. Well here, their wish came true as there are virtually no scenes in the film without Clouseau present, and it is all the better as such. There can be no doubt that Peter Sellers is one of the greatest comedic actors of all time, and he is the primary reason the film is so enjoyable.
Director Blake Edwards is wise enough to latch onto this fact, and indeed, the entire premise of the film is essentially just a series of opportunities for Sellers to make full use of his brilliant physical comedy skills wrapped around a twisty murder mystery, as Clouseau struggles to prove that the prime suspect, the beautiful maid Maria (Elke Sommer) is not guilty, despite an increasing load of evidence proving otherwise. Introduced here are also Pink Panther regular characters Commissioner Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) and Clouseau's lethal assistant Cato (Burt Kwouk), instructed to attack him when he least expects it to keep his guard up. (said instances including when in the bath, and in bed with Maria)
The storyline is admittably simple, with only a few basic twists to conceal the murderer's identity until the end, and mainly does exist to give Peter Sellers full reign to do what he is so very skilled at doing
evoking laughs out of the most ordinary situations or what would have
been deemed immature and juvenile if attempted by another actor. (the primary reason Steve Martin's latest re-hash is almost certain to flop
he can never hope to compare to Sellers in his iconic role) And of
course, Henry Mancini's unforgettable jazz theme music is a welcome addition to an already great movie.
It may seem strange that the only film in the series without the words "Pink Panther" should turn out to be the best in the series, but such is the case here. The film may seem somewhat dated, and perhaps not quite as witty as it would have been back in the 1960s, but Sellers' unique comedic talents assure that the entertainment value of the movie remains classic, even 40 years on.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?