CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Burt Kwouk, Herbert Lom, Elke Sommer, Tracy Reed, Graham Stark, George Sanders, Peter Sellers
  • Director: Blake Edwards
  • Screen Writer: William Peter Blatty, Blake Edwards
  • 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 The Babadook

    The Babadook

    Widowed mum Amelia (Essie Davis) finds caring for her wayward child Samuel (Noah Wiseman) a tall order. But shes more or less coping until a scary picture book about the mysterious Babadook starts to haunt this single parent family

  • Film4 This Is Where I Leave You

    This Is Where I Leave You

    Shortly after discovering his wifes infidelity, Judd (Jason Bateman) learns of the death of his father. Forced to return to his childhood home to spend a week with his mother, four siblings and his extended family, Judd tries to take stock of his life.

  • Film4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts Of The Southern Wild on Film4

    Quvenzhané Wallis stars in an Oscar-nominated role as the six year-old Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's magical realist drama on Film4

  • Film4 Killer Joe

    Killer Joe on Film4

    Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple star in William Friedkin's noir thriller on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share