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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A SHOT IN THE DARK

Elke Sommer and Peter Sellers go au natural
A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964). Director: Blake Edwards.

"I know I fell off the sofa, madame -- everything I do is carefully planned."

The second "Pink Panther" film with Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau is an amusing trifle that may just tickle your funny bone if you're in the right mood. Clouseau is called in when the chauffeur of Mssr. Ballon (the ever-wry George Sanders) is found dead in the bedroom of the maid, Maria (Elke Sommer). Maria is the chief suspect, but Clouseau -- smitten by her beauty and with no real facts to back him up -- is convinced that she is innocent. Highlights of the film include Clouseau's visit to a nudist colony where he wants to arrest someone for indecent exposure until he realizes where he is; a darkly comic segment wherein several innocent bystanders are wiped out by someone trying to kill Clouseau who has really lousy luck -- and aim; and the climax when clueless Clouseau confronts all the gathered suspects in the drawing room. Sellers is wonderful, matched if not bettered by Herbert Lom's hilarious turn as his apoplectic boss, Charles Dreyfus, who is literally driven mad by Clouseau's ineptitude. Martin Benson of The Cosmic Monsters plays a butler. Probably inspired by Sellers, Sommer [The Money Trap] is better than usual

Verdict: Some very funny stuff here. ***. 

2 comments:

Neil A Russell said...

I certainly can't think of any way to describe this movie better than you have Bill, other than to opine that I have always thought it the best of the Panther flicks.

Sellers was at the top of his performance game in the mid 60s. I don't know if you've already reviewed it, but his portrayal of Dr Pratt in "The Wrong Box" was one of the funniest he ever turned in.

That's certainly not to take away any of his roles before that either. For instance; all the characters he played in "Dr Strangelove", "The Mouse that Roared", even as far back as "The Ladykillers".

Amazing talent.

William said...

I haven't seen The Wrong Box in years so thanks for reminding me of it; I want to take a look at it again.

The consensus seems to be that "Shot" is the best Panther film. I;m going to be taking another look at the others in the next few weeks.

Yes, Sellers was a comic genius.