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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shot in the Dark -- One of the Funniest Films of All Time
Peter Sellers was a comic genius, and nowhere is this more evident than in A Shot in the Dark, the first of the Pink Panther series to exclusively feature Sellers' Inspector Clouseau. It's one case where the sequel is superior to the original! This film can only be described as gaspingly funny. I've seen this move several dozen times, but it still makes me howl with...
Published on December 6, 1999 by Michael K. Beusch

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars shot in the dark
of all the pink panther movies this is my least favorite. i like comedies but although i was amused here and there i seldom laughed. if it had not been for herbert loms predictable reaction to sellers character i would not have laughed at all.
Published 15 months ago by liesel strong


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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shot in the Dark -- One of the Funniest Films of All Time, December 6, 1999
By 
Michael K. Beusch (San Mateo, California United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
Peter Sellers was a comic genius, and nowhere is this more evident than in A Shot in the Dark, the first of the Pink Panther series to exclusively feature Sellers' Inspector Clouseau. It's one case where the sequel is superior to the original! This film can only be described as gaspingly funny. I've seen this move several dozen times, but it still makes me howl with laughter every time I see it. It's amazing to think that Sellers also made The Pink Panther, Dr. Stangelove, and The World of Henry Orient the same year (all titles I would highly recommend as well). The fact that "Shot" is now on DVD in widescreen makes it that much more special. The supporting cast (Elke Sommer, Herbert Lom, George Sanders, and Bert Kwouk, among others) is perfect and provides a perfect ensemble foil to Sellers. The "Camp Sunshine" scene alone makes "Shot" worth seeing. This film is so funny, I can recommend that you purchase it without having seen it first -- it's that good!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Seem To Have Stabbed Myself With A Letter Opener.", July 2, 2004
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
This is one of the very rare films where the sequel is better than the original. This movie is absolutely a letter perfect comedy: suave yet silly; understated yet over the top; pompous yet reserved. You get the idea. A perfect film. I wouldn't change one thing about this movie, even if I could. Peter Sellers defines the bumbling Clouseau as an individual better here than in the original, and I think the supporting cast is stronger as well. Elke Sommer is perfect as the beautiful, naive murder suspect who Clouseau goes to any ends to defend, while George Sanders is wonderful as the great scoundrel millionaire, Benjamin Ballon. Introduced for the first time in the series are Bert Kwouk as Kato (later spelled 'Cato'), Graham Stark as Clouseau's (extremely) patient assistant, Hercule, and my favorite of all the Panther supporting characters, the great Herbert Lom as Inspector Dreyfus. Watching Lom go through the phases of psychosis in this film is one of the greatest experiences and delights a person can have as a movie viewer. (I particularly like his performance in the closing scene, and when reading the newspaper with trembling hands and twitching eye.)
The plot concerns Clouseau's infatuation with a wrongly accused murder suspect, and the chaos that develops from that unlikely situation. The film is filled with a degree of nuance seldom seen in a comedy, and is probably the best crafted of all the Panther films (although I have to admit that the way over the top "Pink Panther Strikes Again" is my personal favorite.) The physical comedy that Sellers could make totally natural (watch the "spinning globe" scene for an excellent example) is still unrivalled, and the nuanced interplay with other cast members is better than in any other comedy that I can think of (to see what I mean watch the "curved pool cue" scene and the interaction of both Monsieur Ballon and the butler.)
I highly recommend this film. The DVD print is good, though there are few extras (the original trailer is very amusing and a tad on the weird side.) It is slapstick, but it is very refined slapstick done by the master, Peter Sellers. If only they still made movies like this today. I give it five stars only because Amazon won't allow more!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Clouseau Benchmark, November 5, 2001
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
This is by far the wittiest and amusingly the funniest of all the Inspector Clouseau and Pink Panther films. The last time we saw Inspector Clouseau he was on his way to jail as the convicted notorious "The Phantom" jewel thief at the close of THE PINK PANTHER. Happily he is out and reinstated. Besides the perseverance of Peter Sellers as Clouseau this films introduces the regular members of the series that thrived even after the loss of Sellers. Herbert Lom as Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus, Burt Kwouk as Kato, Andre Maranne as François and Graham Stark as Hercule Lajoy all acted as a counterpoint to Sellers' Clouseau which greatly bolstered and defined the various and curious qualities of the Inspector. It's interesting how Blake Edwards returned to the original format of THE PINK PANTHER for the rest of the series yet he retained these regular characters introduced here in A SHOT IN THE DARK. The other great contribution to the series is Henry Mancini's score once again present here and in all Pink Panther films directed by Blake Edwards. This is a great movie.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bare bones DVD, February 2, 2006
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This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
Why the four stars? Well 5 for the movie, about which nothing further needs to be said, surely. But let's knock off a star for this DVD package. There's nothing wrong with the film, looks fine, so far as I can see. But the extras are merely some stills and the trailer, there's not even a paper insert! That's a pity, I would have loved an hour of interviews from those still around (or maybe in the can already). Ah well, it's cheap, but it's like MGM figured this was just an oldy and didn't deserve any special handling. That's an insult for one the best comedies ever made, with every single scene a gem.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elke looks great!, April 7, 2007
By 
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
This is my favorite Pink Panther movie and the only one without "Pink Panther" in it's title. Peter Sellers does his usual great job as the inspector but Elke Sommer really classes this one up. A better story line than the others. Highly recommeded for any Pink Panther fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Shot in the Dark, June 27, 2007
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
Bearing all the hilarious hallmarks of Edwards's Pink Panther films, this second entry in the popular series finds pratfall artist Sellers tumbling into a pond, warding off nocturnal judo attacks from assistant Kato (Burt Kwouk), and trying to bed the woman literally found holding a smoking gun. Sellers is at his nutty best, the ravishing Sommer is slyly seductive, and Herbert Lom gives his Chief Inspector Dreyfus plenty of agitated gravitas. For a murder mystery heavy on inspired sight gags and goofy punch lines, "A Shot in the Dark" hits the bull's-eye.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In some ways the best of the Clouseau films, January 29, 2005
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
In many ways, "A Shot in the Dark" is the first of the Clouseau films. In the original movie Clouseau was simply the bumbling cuckolded detective without a clue while David Niven was the star jewel thief going after the famous diamond, the eponymous Pink Panther. However, in this movie all the elements that make a "Pink Panther" movie take shape.

The elements are: Clouseau is the central focus of the film. His manservant, Kato, is present and their training karate duels provide amazingly funny scenes usually ending with a ridiculous explosion. Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) is Clouseau's boss and is insane with his hatred of Clouseau. There are beautiful women who are strangely available to Clouseau much like "Bond Girls". There are plenty of cartoon bombs, ridiculous disguises, and plenty of laughs.

In this film the beautiful woman is Elke Sommer. Sommer is a stunning beauty. Here she is a very affectionate and much too innocent maid in a rich household with many other servants and wealthy owners. One evening, when everyone is in beds other than their own, a man is shot to death. Sommer's character, Maria Gambrelli, is the obviously guilty party and everyone intends to railroad her to jail. Except that Clouseau knows she is innocent. He really hasn't a clue why she is innocent except for some vague intuition. The rest of the movie sets up Clouseau stumbling into more trouble and at the last moment, as in all the films, the guilty party is revealed and Clouseau is the hero who deserves credit for sticking with his hunch, but never having a clue as to why he was right.

In many ways, this is the best of the Clouseau films because all of the later films are derivative of the formula laid down here. Oh, and one other delight in all the films are the various roles that Graham Stark played in each of them. He is fabulous. What a face and what delivery!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest of the PINK PANTHER films, August 15, 2006
By 
Tom Benton (North Springfield, VT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
Blake Edwards and William Peter Blatty, the latter of whom would eventually write THE EXORCIST (both the novel and the film), were working on adapting a stageplay by Marcel Achard and Harry Kurnitz when Edwards had the idea of turning it into a vehicle for the character of Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), the bumbling French policeman with the thick accent from Edwards' caper comedy THE PINK PANTHER. The result is A SHOT IN THE DARK, released the same year as its predecessor (1964).

The film opens with a wonderful little sequence which culminates in a murder at the home of millionaire Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders). Inspector Jacques Clouseau is mistakenly assigned to the case. Though the evidence screams that the Ballon home's maid, Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer), is responsible for the murder, Clouseau is captivated by her beauty and refuses to believe it. He sets out to prove Gambrelli's innocence as more and more evidence against her piles up, all the while driving his superior, Chief Inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom), farther and farther up the wall.

A SHOT IN THE DARK is most certainly the finest of the Inspector Clouseau adventures. It is at once a great comedy, a great PINK PANTHER film, and a great mystery. Edwards and Blatty know what to do and when to do it, be it slapstick comedy or plays on Clouseau's thick accent. The identity of the murderer remains completely unknown until the ending - you won't see it coming. The endlessly inventive script comes up with one outrageous scene after another, resulting in one of the most fun and funny "whodunnit"s ever made.

Henry Mancini's music has never been better. His score, including a delightfully shady theme, is magnificent, possibly the finest of his career. The film's original song, "The Shadows Of Paris", is great as well. Mancini's score isn't always funny, however; there is a montage of scenes in the film where Clouseau is targeted for murder by an assassin. The assassin's face is not revealed; we see only his gun and his gloved hand. The way that director Edwards filmed this scenes, combined with Mancini's inhuman score, is to me quite horrifying.

Sellers is at his finest as the completely unreasonable, constantly bumbling Inspector Clouseau. What would these films be without him? It is painful to imagine someone else in the world. It fits Sellers like his character's trademark coat. A SHOT IN THE DARK also marks the first appearance of Kato (Burt Kwouk), Clouseau's servant and frequent "attacker". Sommer and Lom are also great in their roles, particularly Lom as the increasingly loony Dreyfus.

If there is one PINK PANTHER film you must see, it's A SHOT IN THE DARK. The film has become a true comedy classic, and rightfully so. It's an immensely fun movie that will keep you guessing - and laughing - until the very end.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Funny, Funny, January 18, 2007
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This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
No one can top Peter Sellers as Inspector Closeau. Even Steve Martin, who I love, can't hold a candle to Sellers. I saw this movie at Fort Jackson when I was stationed there in 1965. My buddies and I went to see it several times and almost rolled in the aisles with laughter. When I saw it on Amazon, I just had to buy it. He still has me rolling in the aisles.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in the Panther series, October 30, 2005
By 
Bomojaz (South Central PA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Shot in the Dark (DVD)
Second in the "Pink Panther" series, and the best. The plot - something to do with a murder and a false suspect and a slew of other suspects - is secondary; in fact, it hardly matters at all. The focus of the movie is where it should be - on Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau. The gags, many of them sight gags, never stop, and most are right on the money.

Where the first Pink Panther movie hadn't defined Clouseau enough, and the later ones strained for humorous effects (or repeated themselves), this movie is fresh and energetic - and very funny. Definitely worth a watch.(One of the few movies in this long series that doesn't have Pink Panther in its title, mainly because that is the name of a jewel and this movie has nothing to do with the jewel.)
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