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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Aug 28: A Shot in the Dark


Aug 28: A Shot in the Dark

"As murder follows murder, beautiful Maria is the obvious suspect; bumbling Inspector Clouseau drives his boss mad by seeing her as plainly innocent."
Directed by: Blake Edwards, Rated: PG, 102 minutes

I hate to admit it, but I've never seen an entire Pink Panther movie and the only part of Peter Sellers' career I've seen is Dr. Strangelove. Yes, it is very embarrassing (being a movie blogger and all), but after much constant recommendation from a friend, I finally decided to A Shot in the Dark, the second Pink Panther flick, a chance. And, as you could assume, I really enjoyed it. It's packed full of laughs, an abundance of sexual innuendos (those were the best in the 60s), and a handful of surprises to keep you wondering how it's all going to end. 

Mystery. Intrigue. Wits. And a whole lot of fun. 

The film follows the hardly capable Inspector Clouseau (Sellers) and his trials and tribulations as he attempts to discover the identity of a serial killer while trying to win the heart of the gorgeous Maria (Elke Sommer). As the bodies keep piling up, Maria is clearly seen as the prime suspect as she keeps ending up with the murder weapon in her hand, but Clouseau refuses to beleive someone so beautiful could do something so wrong and continues to look for the murderer, completely frustrating his superior, Commissioner Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom). As Clouseau and Maria get closer, more bodies begin piling up around them, and they go from one ridiculous setting to the next. From nudist colonies to an over-the-top dance bar/restaurant, Clouseau seems to bring death wherever he goes. It's hard talking much more about the movie then giving much away, but the entire film is an adventure in its own, full of slap-stick humor and genius comedic situations you could only find Sellers in. This is his second outing as his now iconic Clouseau and arguably his best (or so I read). It's an amazing reminder of how great comedy was and is one of the best showcases of Sellers' talent. 

Sexy and funny. 

The humor in A Shot in the Dark is so simple, yet brilliant. Ridiculous situations with people falling over one another ceases to be entertaining, as long as those involved in the humor are talented enough to bring it home. Director Blake Edwards does a great job at capturing every nuance of the humor as well as each gag. Sellers is arguably one of the greatest comedians of all time and his channeling of Chaplin, Keaton, and other silent stars, while mixing in his own unique style is absolutely perfect. He's one of the few people in the world you can watch for hours and stay entertained. His timing his dead on and his facial expressions and gestures give so much life to a very incapable inspector. The best part of the film is certainly Sellers and it's a shame there aren't more comedians like him these days. Making people laugh is timeless, and even the older stuff works (for the most part, even more so). I don't quite understand why we have what we have in Hollywood right now. 

I would highly recommend this film. As I mentioned, I had not seen any of the Pink Panther movies in their entirety, but after watching A Shot in the Dark, I feel I must track them down and watch them immediately. The film is the perfect reminder of old Hollywood, and it's featuring of great, elaborate sets, 'foreign' locations, and practical effects is a joy to watch. I'd also like to point out that the women of the past give the women of the present a run for their money in the looks department. Every single woman in pre-1970s movies seems to be her own kind of stunner. It's then disappointing when you look them up and see what they look like now... But, regardless, go watch this movie and love every minute of it like I did. And remember that there's a history to the cinematic world. Just because a movie was released decades ago it doesn't mean it's not good or even relevant to today.

The Good:
seeing an older movie and being reminded of the magic of the movies, when everything was 'real' and the people genuinely entertaining
The Better:
Elke Sommer... she's so damn hot
The Best:
Peter Sellers in the role that made him famous and watching him do what he did best- make us laugh

Overall: 9.0/10

Trailer: As I could not find a quality trailer, here's a great clip from the film

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