Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Comedy, Family
  • 1964
  • 98 mins

A Shot In The Dark

A Shot In The Dark

Synopsis

Peter Sellers' Clouseau sets out to prove chambermaid Elke Sommer's innocence in the second irresistible outing for the daft Inspector

About

"I submit that you arrived home, found Miguel with Maria Gambrelli, and killed him in a rit of fealous jage!"

Say what you like about Blake Edwards, but he could pick a winner. Having used Clouseau as a supporting character in The Pink Panther (1963), Edwards shoved the bungling detective centre stage for this sequel (released only months after the premiere of the first film), and never looked back.

Here Clouseau is sent to investigate a murder at the mansion of a well-connected millionaire (Sanders). It seems like an open and shut case. After all, chambermaid Maria Gambrelli (Sommer) was found standing over the body holding a smoking gun. Clouseau isn't so sure. She's too dishy to be guilty, so he releases Maria in the hope that she'll flush out the real killer. Even the trail of bodies she leaves in her wake doesn't throw his conviction that she's being set up, much to the fury of boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Lom). Of course, justice will out in the end but, as ever, by pure fluke.

Obviously the picture's success relies heavily on Sellers' peerless comic ability, but this is far more of a collective effort than the following, inferior sequels. The script (by Edwards and The Exorcist's William Peter Blatty) provides a wealth of one-liners, fantastic visual gags and a succession of inspired set-pieces - including a nudist camp scene, a priceless seduction and a brilliant riff on the Poirot-esque confrontation of suspects. The supporting cast do their bit too, playing straight without blinking, save for Lom, whose twitchy portrayal of escalating insanity almost steals the show and ensured his place in the rest of the series.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Graham Stark, Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Tracy Reed, Burt Kwouk, George Sanders, Elke Sommer
  • Director: Blake Edwards
  • Screen Writer: Blake Edwards, William Peter Blatty
  • Writer (Book): Marcel Achard
  • Writer (Story): Harry Kurnitz
  • Producer: Blake Edwards
  • Photographer: Christopher Challis
  • Composer: Henry Mancini

In a nutshell

The second Pink Panther film is a timeless piece of knockabout comic artistry and undoubtedly the best of the series.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Black Nativity

    Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett star in director Kasi Lemmons' seasonal drama.

  • Film4

    August: Osage County

    John Wells directs this star-studded adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts (Killer Joe, Bug).

  • Film4

    Christmas 2016 on Film4

    This festival season Film4 brings you a host of Christmas classics, blinding blockbusters and cinematic treasures.

  • Film4

    Northern Soul on Film4

    Elliot James Langridge and Josh Whitehouse star in Northern Soul, playing on Film4 for the first time.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten

    Film4.com Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with Film4.com editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share