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A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery | 23 June 1964 (USA)
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
...
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:

... The Picture That Gets Away With Murder! 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Graham Stark (Hercule), Peter Sellers ad-libbed the line "Look at that! I've got Africa all over my hand!" See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Maria Gambrelli: [as Clouseau's coat is burning] Your coat, Monsieur!
Clouseau: Yes, it is my coat.
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

Featured in The Pink Panther Story (2003) 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

 
"I suspect everyone... and I suspect no one"
11 February 2006 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

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.

-8/10


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