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: Peter Sellers, Tracy Reed, George Sanders, Elke Sommer, Burt Kwouk, Herbert Lom, Graham Stark
  • 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 Stone

    Stone

    Robert De Niro, Ed Norton and Milla Jovovich star in this drama thriller about a convicted arsonist trying to manipulate a parole officer with the help of his beautiful wife

  • Film4 Pusher

    Pusher

    Nicolas Winding Refn's Danish crime thriller is given a British makeover starring Richard Coyle and Agyness Deyn

    On Film4: 27 Feb 10:45PM

  • Film4 Men In Black 3

    Men In Black 3 on Film4

    When Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is killed in the past by a time-travelling villain, Agent J (Will Smith) travels back to 1969 to save him, and teams up with a younger version of Agent K (Josh Brolin) on Film4

  • Film4 Serenity

    Science-Fiction Season on Film4

    The future starts here! Film4's 2015 season of science fiction features classics of the genre, old and new

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Postcard from Sundance

    Dark Horse director Louise Osmond on visiting Sundance for the first time, where her film premiered to critical acclaim and won the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary. [caption id="attachme

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4 signs development deal with Jonathan Glazer

    Film4 has announced a development deal with Under The Skin director Jonathan Glazer, continuing its longstanding relationship with the acclaimed British filmmaker. David Kosse, Director of Film4, s

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share