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A Shot in the Dark

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Original title
A Shot in the Dark
Running time
101 min.
United States United States
William Peter Blatty, Blake Edwards (Play: Harry Kurnitz, Marcel Achard)
Henry Mancini
Christopher Challis
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United Artists
Comedy. Mystery | Sequel. The Pink Panther
Movie Groups
The Pink Panther (Films)
Synopsis / Plot
The second in the series of films involving bumbling French inspector Jacques Clouseau has the the inept detective trying to clear a maid accused of murdering her lover--even though all clues point to her.

-Peter Sellers returns as the world's most accident-prone detective in the second film of Blake Edwards' Pink Panther series. When Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer), a parlormaid in the employ of Parisian plutocrat Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders), is accused of murdering her lover, Clouseau is assigned to the case. The bumbling detective insists on the young beauty's innocence--much to the dismay of Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom)--despite significant evidence to the contrary. Even after Maria is caught red-handed (holding bloody shears, to be precise) near the body of a murdered gardener, Clouseau remains intent on her innocence, and continues to free her from prison time and time again. When the corpse of the Ballons' former maid, Dudu (Ann Lynn), turns up, all evidence leads to Maria's involvement, but not, of course, in the eyes of the wily Clouseau. Clouseau takes care to thoroughly investigate every angle of the case (even if it does require a stakeout at a nudist colony) to nab the real killer. Or could it have been Maria all along?
Possibly the best entry in the long-running series, this rapid-fire farce is a showcase for Sellers, whose perfectly timed deadpan verbal mangling and virtuoso displays of physical ineptitude define comic genius. As always, the film is unimaginable without Henry Mancini's catchy score.
1965: BAFTA Awards: Nominated to Best Costume Design
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