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Friday, April 19, 2013

A Shot In The Dark (1964)

Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) is assigned to investigate the murder of the Spanish chauffeur of a wealthy aristocrat (George Sanders). The chief suspect is a maid (Elke Sommer) but when seven more murders occur, the case becomes more complex. Originally intended as a film version of the 1961 Broadway farce which itself was an adaptation of Marcel Archard's L'IDIOTE, the film was rewritten to accommodate the character of Inspector Clouseau from THE PINK PANTHER thus making it the second entry in the PINK PANTHER franchise. If it doesn't reach the farcical hilarity of its predecessor, it remains a close second in the series. Indeed, other than the first two entries, I find only the 1978 REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER tolerable. This entry is more than a series of gags for a Sellers one man show, the mystery is actually interesting (including an amusing send up of all the suspects gathered in the parlor as Clouseau reveals the murderer) and the rest of the cast each gets their little moments to shine. Directed by Blake Edwards (who co-wrote the screenplay with THE EXORCIST's William Peter Blatty). With Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk, Martin Benson, Ann Lynn, Tracy Reed, Graham Stark, Moira Redmond and director Bryan Forbes as a guitar player in a nudist colony.

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