A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964)

Director: Blake Edwards
Script written by Blake Edwards and William Peter Blatty
Henry Mancini score

Starring: Peter Sellers as Clouseau
Perfect secondary characters: Elke Sommer, Herbert Lom, Geroge Sanders, Burt Kwouk

Genre: Mystery/comedy

Reviewed by Judith Fox

If you want to see something that will be in the history of films, something you will never forget, youíve got to see this comic mystery. Itís a truly amazing farce and captures one of the best films Peter Sellers ever played as the infamous Detective Clouseau. He is a klutz in its purist form. The clumsiness and total ineptness portrayed by Sellers is hilarious and well, after a while, I found him quite charming.

The dialogue is also comedy inept, expertly handled by Sellers using a silly French accent. He comforts breathtaking Maria (Elke Sommer) and observes that indeed, she has "A beump on zee head." He also believes she did not commit the murder. He accuses one of the suspects by saying, "You shot him in a rit of fealous jage."

Inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) is the character to feel sorry for but itís impossible not to laugh at his facial twitching as he endures yet another ridiculous accident he suffers because of his subordinate, Clouseau. He desperately wants to get rid of him, but someone with power demands that Clouseau stay on the murder case.

Did I mention this is a murder mystery? I laughed so much I kept forgetting there was a case to be solved, as Clouseau would say.

A Shot in the Dark was inspired by a three-act stage comedy by Harry Kurnitz, which in turn was adapted from the French play LíIdiote by Marcel Achard.

Sellers will entertain even the toughest curmudgeons amongst you with his hilarious facial expressions and clumsy movements. He is aptly supported by the laughable secondary characters who manage to deal with him. I dare you to keep a straight face when he again looks at the viewer and wiggles his eyes and mouth knowingly.

You canít take your eyes off the screen because every minute thereís another funny mishap.

Go on and rent the film, plug it in, sit back with your feet up and prepare to be entertained.

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