Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 1964. The Mirisch Corporation, Mirisch Films. Screenplay by Blake Edwards, William Peter Blatty, based on a play by Harry Kurnitz, and characters created by Marcel Achard. Cinematography by Christopher Challis. Produced by Blake Edwards. Music by Henry Mancini. Production Design by Michael Stringer. Costume Design by Margaret Furse. Film Editing by Bert Bates, Ralph E. Winters.
The general audience consensus is that this is the best of all the movies starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Closeau. Interestingly enough, it’s the only one in the series that has nothing to do with the Pink Panther. Sellers shows up at a Parisian mansion to investigate a murder that could have been committed by just about anyone in the household. The main suspect, a beautiful maid (Elke Sommer), is the one he is hoping will not be the culprit as he has taken a strong liking to her. Blake Edwards directs at a breakneck pace, creating the rhythm that he would mine so wonderfully in the later Pink Panther movies of the seventies. He also creates the first enmity between Clouseau and his chief of police and worst enemy, Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). I personally prefer the original Pink Panther to this one for being more stylish, but A Shot In the Dark has a lot more comedy which will appeal to some and make it their preference.