7.5/10
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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 screen commits the perfect comedy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original "L'Idiote" and "A Shot in the Dark" plays, which inspired this film, featured instead of Inspector Clouseau an examining magistrate named Paul Sevigne. The Ballons were originally named Beaurevers. See more »

Goofs

The saxophonist at the nudist camp is wearing boxer shorts. 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

Followed by Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Sequel? Prequel? Hard to tell, but it has some laughs
11 January 2005 | by Poseidon-3See all my reviews

The germination of the "Pink Panther" series of comedic mystery films is a complicated one. The first film in the series, "The Pink Panther", was actually the second one to be filmed! This film, "A Shot in the Dark", was originally intended to be the adaptation of a stage play, but director Edwards and actor Sellers refit the main character to accommodate the persona of Inspector Clouseu, which they were developing for "The Pink Panther". However, when the film was completed, it wasn't released and was deemed unfunny. Then when "The Pink Panther" was a hit, the studio released "A Shot in the Dark" as a sequel and a series was born. This explains why elements from the first film are absent from the second (Mrs. Clouseu anyone?) and why the second (actually first!) set the tone for the following films more than the first (actually the second! Confused yet?) Here, Sellers is front and center as the hapless and ever-clumsy Inspector. Freed from sharing screen time with a higher billed co-star (David Niven in the previous film) and without a particularly coherent plot to follow, he is allowed to engage in pratfall after pratfall and scenario after goofy scenario. Today's audiences may not completely go for the subtle, meticulously timed method of comedy shown here with emphasis on set up and repetitiveness, but patient and observant audience members should still find the film funny. By now, so much of the material has been cribbed or expanded upon, some of the edge is lost, but enough of the humor and situational gags are amusing enough to make the film worthwhile. Sellers insists upon the innocence of curvy stunner Sommer, a maid who has been found in a locked room with a dead body and a smoking gun in her hand. Time after time, he lets her out of prison and the body count increases. His thorough incompetence drives his superior (Lom) to insanity. Sommer's employer Sanders, a man of great wealth and taste, is also appalled by the bumbling Sellers, never more so than when he manages to practically trash a billiard room during a friendly game. One famous sequence has Sellers tracking Sommer down in a nudist colony. The modest Inspector navigates the idyllic hideaway using any available object to cover himself as the campers frolic behind shrubs and other props. Reed glams it up, but gets little to do as Sanders' bitchy wife. Another memorable sequence has Sellers and Sommer on a date with victim after victim falling prey to an assassin that's after Sellers. It's all a farcical enterprise that one must be in the mood for to fully enjoy. Otherwise, it becomes a little tiresome, but fans of physical comedy ought to lap it up. The remaining sequels were all sort of hybrids of "The Pink Panther" mixed with "A Shot in the Dark" and had fair success until the death of Sellers made it difficult to continue (but continue they did, using outtakes and other footage of the man! Anything to make a buck!) Henry Mancini provided some nice music, notably over the animated title sequence.


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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
See full technical specs »

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