7.5/10
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144 user 33 critic

A Shot in the Dark (1964)

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

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Jacques Clouseau
Elke Sommer ... Maria Gambrelli
George Sanders ... Benjamin Ballon
Herbert Lom ... Charles Dreyfus
Tracy Reed ... Dominique Ballon
Graham Stark ... Hercule LaJoy
Moira Redmond ... Simone
Vanda Godsell ... Madame LaFarge
Maurice Kaufmann ... Pierre
Ann Lynn ... Dudu
David Lodge ... Georges
André Maranne ... Francois
Martin Benson ... Maurice
Burt Kwouk ... Cato
Reginald Beckwith ... Receptionist at nudist camp
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Storyline

Ballon household: Benjamin Ballon and his wife Madame Ballon, Henri Lafarge the head Butler and his wife Madame Lafarge the Cook, Miguel Ostos the Head Chauffeur, Maria Gambrelli the third maid, Pierre the second Chauffeur and his wife Dudo the head Maid, Georges the Gardener and his wife Simone the second Maid, Maurice the second Butler. Affairs: Monsieur Ballon and Maria, Maria and Miguel, Henri and Dudo, Madame Ballon and Henri, Pierre and Simone. Who killed who: Madame Ballon accidentally shot Miguel because she suspected her husband of having an affair with Maria and wanted to kill him. Madame LaFarge killed Georges because he threatened to break up with her. Simone killed Dudo to eliminate her because she was in the way of her affair with Pierre. Monsieur Ballon killed Henri because he was having an affair with his wife. Blackmailers: Georges blackmailing Monsieur Ballon (Seen leaving Maria's room). Maurice blackmailing Madame Ballon. (Seen leaving Maria's room). Written by Bert Weissensee

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Clouseau at one point suggests that Maria might be guillotined if found guilty, but the French government had ceased to guillotine women since 1949 (French men were not so lucky, however, and had to wait until 1981 before the statute was finally expunged). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dreyfus: [answers phone] Commissioner Dreyfus... Ah, yes, my darling... I was just about to call you. I'm on my way. I've got the cheese and the beaujolais... What?
[laughs]
Dreyfus: ... My love. Kiss the children for me, hmm?
[intercom buzzes]
Dreyfus: Hold on.
[covers phone mouthpiece; answers intercom]
Dreyfus: Yes?
intercom: Your wife is on the other line.
Dreyfus: Tell her I'm out of town.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title sequence is of an animated Inspector Clouseau bumbling around, getting into scrapes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Empty Nest: A Shot in the Dark (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
See more »

User Reviews

 
The funniest detective comedy.
17 August 2015 | by PrinceWinSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 January 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Shot in the Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,368,234

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,368,234
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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