The bumbling Inspector Clouseau 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".
Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), who has finally cracked over Inspector Jacques Clouseau's (Peter Sellers') antics, escapes from a mental institution and launches an elaborate plan to get rid of Clouseau once and for all.
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.
Fu Manchu's (Peter Sellers') 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new ... See full summary »
TV personality Robert Danvers, an exceedingly vain rotter, seduces young women daily, never staying long with one. He meets his match in 19-year-old American Marion, who is available but ... See full summary »
In the 17th century, a pirate captain is murdered by his cook after he buries his treasure and marks it on a map but the poor-memory cook must rely on the captain's ghost to re-track the loot, since the map was drawn in disappearing ink.
A poor but proud French teacher gets fired after refusing to modify the grades of a rich student. As this could be the opportunity to exploit his honesty, Castel Benac hires Topaze as a managing director for a shady business.
Unsuccessful singing bullfighter Juan arrives in Barcelona to try his luck in a big town. He finally persuades a devious local impresario to book him, but only on the condition that Juan ... See full summary »
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
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 »
The saxophonist at the nudist camp is wearing boxer shorts. See more »
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?
... My love. Kiss the children for me, hmm?
[covers phone mouthpiece; answers intercom]
Your wife is on the other line.
Tell her I'm out of town.
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The title sequence is of an animated Inspector Clouseau bumbling around, getting into scrapes. See more »
Sequel? Prequel? Hard to tell, but it has some laughs
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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