For Reel

A Shot in the Dark (1964)
October 3, 2016, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Blake Edwards
3.5 Stars
a-shot-in-the-darkOnly three months after The Pink Panther hit movie screens, this immediate followup continued the exploits of the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), the inarguable standout of the classic Blake Edwards caper. This time, the mystery matters even less, instead serving as a backdrop for a number of inspired comic setpieces—the best of which occurring with a number of near-miss murder attempts at a revolving series of nightclubs. Again, Sellers plays Clouseau as a man with misplaced self-confidence, bungling even the simplest of gestures and passing it off like it never happened. The familiar setup in the finale, in which all of the suspects are gathered in a drawing room as Clouseau rattles off the facts, is given new life by the humorous ways it finds to demonstrate Clouseau’s incompetence. That the suspects end the film with their own premature confessions, thereby robbing Clouseau of his grand reveal, is apropos—the point of the Clouseau films is not to witness the methodical solving of a murder mystery, but rather to witness how delightfully Sellers plays a man who is consistently unaware that he is in over his head.

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