A Shot In The Dark

1964, Movie, NR, 103 mins

Review

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This picture, the second in the Inspector Clouseau series starring Sellers, was drawn from a French play, "L'idiote," by Marcel Achard, which opened in Paris in the fall of 1960. About a year later Kurnitz presented his adaptation, "A Shot in the Dark," on Broadway, and it is from both these plays that the screenplay was fashioned. Sommer is a chambermaid, in the Parisian residence of Sanders and Reed, who has been accused of murdering her boyfriend. Sellers is mistakenly assigned to the case. His superior, Lom, would like to get him off it because he knows the havoc the man can wreak. ("Give me 10 men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world.") All the clues point to Sommer's guilt, but Sellers believes she is innocent.

The picture is filled with one sight gag after another, many familiar to anyone old enough to remember the glory days of silent comedy. The funniest sustained sequence occurs when Sellers attempts to bed down Sommer, and his aide (Burt Kwouk) leaps into the room ready to conduct the violent judo lesson that was to punctuate many of the later comedies. The original Achard-Kurnitz plays had the lead character a nutty judge, but that was altered in this screenplay to fit the character Sellers played in the first PINK PANTHER film. In the movies that followed, Lom continued as the boss, despite having murdered all of the victims in this one. leave a comment

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