A Shot in the Dark (1964)
UK / English
"It's Sellers the Sleuth... and there's nothing he won't do to track down a body -- dead or alive! "As murder follows murder, beautiful Maria is the obvious suspect; bumbling Inspector Clouseau drives his boss mad by seeing her as plainly innocent.
Panther No Panth, Ith Thill A Thilly Movie
"A Shot in the Dark", apparently, was intended to be a screen
adaptation of a murder mystery stage play. Somehow, after the character
of Inspector Clouseau caught on with audiences in "The Pink Panther",
he got thrown into the mix here. The result is a movie that established
the very essence of the Pink Panther movie series: murder mysteries
where the "brilliant" detective just happened to be a complete klutz
with barely enough brain cells to mesh two clues together.
Peter Sellers once again assumes the role of that complete klutz, with
even more hilarious results than in "The Pink Panther." The film starts
with a murder in the home of a French socialite, with so many shady
characters creeping from room to room with lights coming on and off in
true Pink Panther style that the audience isn't exactly sure who killed
who. Through a bureaucratic mistake, the bumbling Inspector Clouseau is
sent in. He meets the most obvious suspect, the beautiful, busty,
blonde Elke Sommers, who shares top billing with Sellers. Trusting his
hormones rather than the evidence, Clouseau launches a hilarious
one-man campaign to prove the blonde's innocence.
A cast of supporting players that would become Pink Panther regulars is
established here. Herbert Lom is Clouseau's twisted boss Commissioner
Dreyfus. Burt Kwouk is Clouseau's Korean butler who engages in frequent
training exercises with his master. Graham Stark, a close friend of
Sellers, plays Clouseau's straight-laced side kick. The character
wouldn't appear again until "Trail of the Pink Panther", although the
actor would go on the play multiple roles throughout the rest of the
Henry Mancini scores again, but since Pink Panther wasn't intended to
be the name of the franchise at the time, the famous theme music is
gone. The new theme, however, is just as catchy and definitely could
only be created by Mancini. The animated Pink Panther lurking around
during the opening credits is also missing, though a new cast of
animated characters takes his place.
Based on a mystery play, the movie is able to lampoon the conventions
of murder mysteries pretty well, down to the drawing room conclusion.
While the solution to the mystery is scattered, confusing, and almost
non-existent, that's not really the point. Pink Panther films are about
the comic misadventures of Peter Sellers' character, never about the
With Clouseau finally portrayed as the hero rather than the film's
antagonist, "A Shot in the Dark" sets the tone for the rest of the Pink
Panther series better than "The Pink Panther" does, though the funniest
sequels were still to come.
|Nr of disks/tapes:||1|
|Storage device:||Divx 4|