Blake Edwards film A Shot In The Dark was made before The Pink Panther became a true franchise. There is no mention of The Pink Panther or of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the title. Yet this is the best of the Pink Panther series. Clouseau is almost a supporting character in the original Pink Panther movie. David Niven is closer to being the star than Peter Sellers. But in A Shot In The Dark Clouseau becomes the star of the film. All of the great mannerisms and Clouseau charateristics first start here in this film. The script is top notch. Sellers was never better as Clouseau. For anyone who has not seen any of The Pink Panther films, and I don't know who that would be, this is the best introduction to the series. I would watch this one first and then follow it with the original film.
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Larry Sampson (littlesam1)
I am a retired Federal employee. I worked for 34 years for the Civil Service. When I retired I was working at The Library of Congress in Washington DC. I was able to retire at a somewhat young age of … more
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If you could choose only onePink Panthermovie, your best bet would beA Shot in the Dark--ironic, since it's the only entry in the series that doesn't mention the Pink Panther or even feature the cartoon cat in its opening credits. The title and basic plot are taken from the play by Harry Kurnitz, which in turn was adapted from the French stage comedyL'Idiote, but those plays were completely reconceived by director Blake Edwards, who cowrote the screenplay with William Peter Blatty (yes, the writer ofThe Exorcist!) and turned the film into a showcase for Peter Sellers and a nonstop parade of slapstick gags and pratfalls. This time Inspector Clouseau is accidentally assigned to track a gorgeous, high-profile murder suspect (Elke Sommer), who is connected to several Parisian murders by circumstantial evidence. Believing her to be innocent when all clues indicate otherwise, Clouseau captures his suspect and releases her several times, to the dismay of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), but the plot here is arguably beside the point. As a bumbling variation of Hercule Poirot, Sellers steals the show, refining Clouseau's persona--including his outrageous karate duels with his tenacious valet, Cato (Bert Kwouk)--and nonchalantly waltzing through a plot involving numerous disguises and at least a dozen murders. Some scenes are so funny that you could swear the actors are about to crack up laughing, so you laugh even harder when supporting players such as Graham Stark (as ...