Movie News

A Movie A Day: Quint on A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964)
Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world.

Published at: Sept. 11, 2008, 3:17 a.m. CST



Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s installment of A Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge. My DVD collection is thousands strong, many of them films I haven’t seen yet, but picked up as I scoured used DVD stores. Each day I’ll pull a previously unseen film from my collection and discuss it here. Each movie will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Elke Sommer bridges us from Italian Horror Master Mario Bava to the first of many Pink Panther films, A SHOT IN THE DARK. I’m doing this a tad backwards, hitting the second Pink Panther film first because of the Elke Sommer connection, but I didn’t find myself lost and I’m very curious to see how the first film plays now. I’ve heard that Clouseau as he is in A Shot In The Dark isn’t exactly what is in the first film. Now, I loved Peter Sellers growing up in DR. STRANGELOVE, that creepy as shit Alice In Wonderland movie, and perhaps one of my favorite forgotten comedies of all time MURDER BY DEATH. I later found his work in LOLITA (which is great) and had meant to dig into the Pink Panther films many times, but always seemed to put it on the backburner. No more! And I’m so glad I’m finally putting these films before my eyes. I cackled during A SHOT IN THE DARK. Not laughing, cackling. Of course, Sellers is perfectly clueless and I love him in this movie, but what surprised me was that there’s another person in the movie that I found just as funny, if not funnier.

I am totally in love with Herbert Lom’s Dreyfus. He’s so goddamned crazily annoyed with Clouseau and just watching the inner rage boil and boil and boil just under the skin had me rolling. He plays the Captain who is forced to keep Clouseau on a murder case after he was mistakenly assigned to it and it tears him up inside. The surprise was that Sellers wasn’t just surrounded by a good cast of incredibly funny people, but that some even came close to stealing his thunder. Lom in particular, but also the straightman partner, Hercule, played by Graham Stark, Elke Sommer’s ditzy blonde beauty, the main suspect in the murder mystery that anchors the plot and, of course, Clouseau’s live-in Asian man servant Kato (Burt Kwouk) who spends the movie trying to kill Sellers, attacking him at random points (all at Sellers’ request, of course) resulting in some crazy random fights all throughout the flick. The murder mystery is ridiculously complicated, especially when you get to the end, but that only leads to the charm of the movie.

Clouseau, for all his clueless deductions and failed plans, is still right. He has no evidence to found his theory that Elke Sommer isn’t the murderer. He’s thinking with his dick, driving everybody crazy, but the fucker is right. In the last scene he sets out to trick the murderer to revealing him or herself, which goes completely wrong. Of course it does, Clouseau is a fool and couldn’t pull off a simple plan, let alone a complicated one. But what’s great about the character is that he’s like Forrest Gump. He isn’t exactly smart enough to make things happen they way they should, but through sheer luck or incompetence he gets the same results he would get if he was a brilliant detective. Blake Edwards deserves a helluva lot of credit here. His character direction is brave as hell. Sellers skates dangerously towards the stupid with his slapstick comedy, but Edwards keeps him from falling in… or at least trusts him to know where the lip is and stay away from it. Because if the movie had fallen down that hole even once the whole thing would have collapsed like a house of cards in a room with a woman who likes cake farts (don’t click on that link if you’re around your grandparents, children or co-workers).

The opening sequence, done in one long, complicated take, is awesome. The exterior of a building is shown, windows open, giving us our views of a handful of characters sneaking around, avoiding each other and ultimately ending in the murder that kicks off the plot… All done to music and sound effects, physical comedy used even here to great effect. And the way Edwards uses repetition to sell his comedy is masterfully done. There’s one shot in particular that is repeated at least 4 times, as Clouseau keeps getting arrested and carted off to jail while in disguise… the camera is in the same spot, following the same police truck going the same way down the same street. The camera does the same pan, following the truck, but each time there’s something different about it, usually in direct relation to whatever ridiculous costume Sellers was trying to pull off. The nudist camp scene is also something of wonder. It’s a lot more risqué than I expected it to be, considering it’s an early ‘60s film. Lots of side-boob. Final Thoughts: A Shot In The Dark is just a beautiful movie, a fucking funny movie. It deserves its reputation, Sellers young and firing on all cylinders. Herbert Lom is my God (my favorite bit being his misuse of the cigar cutter) and Elke Sommer is hotter here than in any of the Bava flicks, even though the ditzy blonde ain’t exactly my type. I’m psyched to get into the next few Pink Panther flicks as I have a real fondness for David Niven. The appetite has been whetted.

The schedule for the next 7 days is: Thursday, September 11th: THE PINK PANTHER (1963) Friday, September 12th: THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER (1975) Saturday, September 13th: THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976) Sunday, September 14th: REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER (1978) Monday, September 15th: THE TRAIL OF THE PINK PANTHER (1982) Tuesday, September 16th: THE REAL GLORY (1939) Wednesday, September 17th: THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH (1926) Next Wednesday’s THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH marks the first silent film of the column, a Gary Cooper western. Very, very curious. Most silents I’ve seen have either been comedies (Keaton and Chaplin stuff like THE GENERAL and THE GOLD RUSH) or cult shit like THE UNKNOWN, METROPOLIS, NOSFERATU, etc. I think this is my first silent western. Tomorrow we hit more Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers Clouseauing around with the first film in the series, 1963’s THE PINK PANTHER. See you then! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running
June 9th: Rio Bravo
June 10th: Point Blank
June 11th: Pocket Money
June 12th: Cool Hand Luke
June 13th: The Asphalt Jungle
June 14th: Clash By Night
June 15th: Scarlet Street
June 16th: Killer Bait (aka Too Late For Tears)
June 17th: Robinson Crusoe On Mars
June 18th: City For Conquest
June 19th: San Quentin
June 20th: 42nd Street
June 21st: Dames
June 22nd: Gold Diggers of 1935
June 23rd: Murder, My Sweet
June 24th: Born To Kill
June 25th: The Sound of Music
June 26th: Torn Curtain
June 27th: The Left Handed Gun
June 28th: Caligula
June 29th: The Elephant Man
June 30th: The Good Father
July 1st: Shock Treatment
July 2nd: Flashback
July 3rd: Klute
July 4th: On Golden Pond
July 5th: The Cowboys
July 6th: The Alamo
July 7th: Sands of Iwo Jima
July 8th: Wake of the Red Witch
July 9th: D.O.A.
July 10th: Shadow of A Doubt
July 11th: The Matchmaker
July 12th: The Black Hole
July 13th: Vengeance Is Mine
July 14th: Strange Invaders
July 15th: Sleuth
July 16th: Frenzy
July 17th: Kingdom of Heaven: The Director’s Cut
July 18th: Cadillac Man
July 19th: The Sure Thing
July 20th: Moving Violations
July 21st: Meatballs
July 22nd: Cast a Giant Shadow
July 23rd: Out of the Past
July 24th: The Big Steal
July 25th: Where Danger Lives
July 26th: Crossfire
July 27th: Ricco, The Mean Machine
July 28th: In Harm’s Way
July 29th: Firecreek
July 30th: The Cheyenne Social Club
July 31st: The Man Who Knew Too Much
August 1st: The Spirit of St. Louis
August 2nd: Von Ryan’s Express
August 3rd: Can-Can
August 4th: Desperate Characters
August 5th: The Possession of Joel Delaney
August 6th: Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx
August 7th: Start the Revolution Without Me
August 8th: Hell Is A City
August 9th: The Pied Piper
August 10th: Partners
August 11th: Barry Lyndon
August 12th: The Skull
August 13th: The Hellfire Club
August 14th: Blood of the Vampire
August 15th: Terror of the Tongs
August 16th: Pirates of Blood River
August 17th: The Devil-Ship Pirates
August 18th: Jess Franco’s Count Dracula
August 19th: Dracula A.D. 1972
August 20th: The Stranglers of Bombay
August 21st: Man, Woman & Child
August 22nd: The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane
August 23rd: The Young Philadelphians
August 24th: The Rack
August 25th: Until They Sail
August 26th: Somebody Up There Likes Me
August 27th: The Set-Up
August 28th: The Devil & Daniel Webster
August 29th: Cat People
August 30th: The Curse of the Cat People
August 31st: The 7th Victim
September 1st: The Ghost Ship
September 2nd: Isle of the Dead
September 3rd: Bedlam
September 4th: Black Sabbath
September 5th: Black Sunday
September 6th: Twitch of the Death Nerve
September 7th: Tragic Ceremony
September 8th: Lisa & The Devil
September 9th: Baron Blood

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:24 a.m. CST

    First!

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:25 a.m. CST

    Easily the best Pink Panther film...

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    in my opinion. I must have been 10 or so when I first saw it, and the nudity colony scene had me rolling on the floor. I'm glad you finally got around to seeing this, Quint!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Herbert Lom and Peter Sellers

    by Napoleon Park

    Before I ever saw any of the Pink Panther movies I saw "99 Women" a women in prison on an island sexplotation flick with Herbert Lom as the sadistic deviant warden. That always just slightly colored my image of his PP character and gave it a slightly more threatening edge.<p>I realize that just because you review a Peter Seller's film you don't need to list his incredibly long resume. And "Dr. Strangelove" is certainly both Sellers and Kubrick at their finest. If you've never seen "Being There" you'll want to add it to your queue. And if you've never heard the radio program "the Goon Show"... you must. The simplest way to say it is... before there was Monty Python, there was The Goon Show.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:36 a.m. CST

    My favorite line from The Goon Show:

    by Napoleon Park

    "I have to return this suit to the rental agency - there's a deposit on it." (butler:) "Oh, don't worry, that will brush right off."

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:41 a.m. CST

    If you connnntine this "trail"

    by Napoleon Park

    into the final, posthumous Panther films cobbled together with outtakes after Seller's death, prepare to be slightly disappointed and saddened.<p>And yet, even the worst of them have a few comedic gems that you're glad not to have missed.<p>Not including the Steve Martin remake and the Alan Arkin "Inspector Clouseau" movie, which I haven't seen but have heard are rather expendable.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Oh. My God.

    by King_Knut

    Cake farts is about the rankest thing I've ever seen. Does anyone have any caustic soda? I need to burn that out of my eyes and ears....

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:46 a.m. CST

    We now return to....

    by Iblis_mage

    The Return of the Pink Panther Returns, starring Ken Wahl as Inspector Clouseau.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Do you have a licence to sell those balloons...?

    by Denty420

    Boiiiiing!<br> *cue siren*<br> Classic!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST

    God!

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    I miss Peter Sellers

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Don't forget

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    The Party (1968)<p> Or have you already reviewed it and I missed it?<p> Anyway, make sure don't need to piss while watching it.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:25 a.m. CST

    I suggest you count your bees

    by emphatic

    My favourite is RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER, mostly because it has the best disguise, Guy Gadbois and full on Clouseau accent. Also, note how the actors portraing the gardener from A SHOT IN THE DARK as well as Clouseaus partner show up as new characters in RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER... A SHOT IN THE DARK was co-written by William Peter Blatty (of THE EXORCIST fame) btw. Cool huh?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:31 a.m. CST

    Today is Herbert Lom's 91st birthday!

    by DerLanghaarige

    And Blake Edwards is a fucking god!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Murder By Death

    by Bald Evil

    One of the funniest movies I've ever seen, thanks in no small part to Peter Sellers as Sidney Wang. "Conversation like television on honeymoon: unnecessary!" Great movie, go watch it if you haven't seen it.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Return of the Pink Panther is the best of the series

    by steely_dan

    I never cared for A Shot in the Dark. Return of the Pink Panther was the best and funniest of the series.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Birdy Num Num

    by theycallmemrglass

    Thanks Melvin_Pelvis for reminding me of my childhood classic!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    That last one is

    by papabendi

    terrible. My dad had all the Pink Panther films on video when I was a teenager (along with his Laurel and Hardy, Will Haye, and Mel Brooks collections). Like you Quint he always found Herbert Lom to be the funniest character in the whole series. He used to physically cry laughing at Lom.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:36 a.m. CST

    It doesn't feel as part of the Pink Panthers series...

    by ricarleite

    ... and not just due to the title, although it DOES introduce Kato. The first is probably the best written, and "Return" is probably the funniest.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Jesus - don't watch Trail - seriously!

    by Samson_K

    It's almost like Blake Edwards standing pissing on Sellers grave for about an hour and forty minutes!<BR><BR>And do not venture anywhere near Curse at any point in your life.<BR><BR>The Clouseau movies are almost like 2 seperate franchises (the Sellers ones that is) - PP and SitD are great and funny but almost set in a believable world. Return, Strikes Again (my favourite) and Revenge are much broader in their scope for humour - Clouseau begins to become cartoony and the humour becomes more ridiculous. They're great - Revenge being the weakest but all worth a watch.<BR><BR>Trail is not!<BR><BR>Curse is not!<BR><BR>Son is not!<BR><BR>I mean ferfucksake Roger Moore appears as Clouseau in Curse!!!???

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:40 a.m. CST

    QUINT - Do NOT watch 'Trail'.......

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    .......if you enjoy the other Panther movies, just don't watch any of the ones made after Seller's death. They'll break your heart. The Seller's Panther movies are so wonderful, so unbelievably funny and beautifully made with such amazing performances from all involved, they deserve not to have related deflated expectations from the cash in, phoned in non-Sellers releases. And don't even get me started on Steve Martin's recent Panther abortion. God knows he gets a lot of slack for his last decade and a half of shit thanks to his terrific earlier films, but for raping Panther like he has, I would have to cut off his balls if I met him.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Isn't A Shot In The Dark the first?

    by RosebudsTheSled

    A believe it was shot first, based on a play actually, then released second. Which would explain the different tone and different take on Clouseu... correct me if I'm wrong Quint...

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 6:59 a.m. CST

    aha, nevermind

    by RosebudsTheSled

    I checked wikipedia- which i realize doesnt exactly mean anything, but what actually happened was that Edwards read the play and decided it'd be a good vehicle for the Clouseau character. But lets pretend for a second that my previous post was correct and inject it into cinematic history as a fascinating rumour...both films were however released just months apart...

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Great movie

    by ballyhoo

    The original PP is great, too. I like it slightly more. After these two, though, the series just declines. There are a few bits here and there, but overall it feels different. That point Quint made about not falling into the stupidity hole, well in the next few movies, they kind of do fall.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Timing is everything

    by 2deaconblues

    I'm glad to hear Herbert Lom and Graham Stark singled out. Their comic timing was unbelievable. You won't find a scene today as funny as the "synchronizing the watches" bit. Clouseau craziness at it's best, then Stark delivers the punchline with incredible deadpan timing. "My watch has stopped." They not only don't make 'em like they used to, I don't think they can.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:33 a.m. CST

    This was the first....

    by dpc01

    ...movie with Sellers as Clouseau. The studio was unimpressed and shelfed it, the expectation being that it would never get released. Blake Edwards started his next move, The Pink Panther, which was conceived as a straight caper movie about a jewel thief. But he and Sellers were so angry with the Shot in the Dark situation that they shoehorned the character of Clouseau into The Pink Panther and it became a comedy. Which is why The Pink Panther is the least of their Inspector Clouseau films - Clouseau is hardly in it. But The Pink Panther was a big hit, and A Shot in the Dark was released the next year, billed as the sequel. And ironically The Pink Panther became the title that the series ended up being known as in it's entirety, when originally it was simply the name of a jewel thief. That was due to the popularity of the cartoon character from the credits, which had it's own TV show before the movie series was restarted in the 70's.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    2deaconblues

    by Pandas

    According to IMDB the "synchronizing watches" bit was all ad-libbed between Graham Stark and Peter Sellers, which makes it even more impressive!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Sad truth

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    I've never seen a Peter Sellers movie. I've just never gotten around to it for any reason.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 8:40 a.m. CST

    There are 2 Clouseau films not on that boxed set

    by HypeEndsHere

    well, three counting Steve Martin's. There's Return of the Pink Panther which actually revived Sellers and Edwards career. And rightfully so. Clouseau asking the blind man about his "minky"? gold. as well as the Alan Arkin film "Inspector Clouseau" which is okay. But it just ain't right. A Shot in the Dark was based on play (a rather good one) but the Blatty script just blows it away. This is very nearly the perfect comedy. When Sellers hand get stuck in the globe and he says "Look at that! I have africa all over my hand." I wrote a Panther film that was in negotiations to be turned into a broadway show several years ago (until MGM became involved) and even though that project is dead, it still makes me happy when a film i love so much is found and appreciated by someone. enjoy the rest!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Peter Sellers

    by greyspecter

    the greatest comedic actor ever. Seriously, just look at Strangelove and the Pink Panther series. He elevated Strangelove or HILTSWALTB to a level far beyond simply being the greatest dark comedy ever sheerly on the force of his performance. And he freakin' carried the PP series entirely. Other than Niven and Chris Plummer, no other "star" ever participated in one.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST

    As much as I think it's a crime you haven't already seen these

    by V'Shael

    at least you're rectifying the gap in your movie knowledge. So these posts of yours are quite enjoyable. <p> I know a few youngsters who refuse to watch any movie from before 1980 (star wars excluded), any movie in black and white, and any movie with subtitles.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:09 a.m. CST

    What a waste of good cake!

    by Boba Fat

    <p>

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Murder By Death! Yes!

    by V'Shael

    Baldeagle you're right, that's a great movie. David Niven is great, Peter Falk is HILARIOUS, and Maggie Smith is surprisingly saucy (for those who only know her as Mrs. McGonagle). <p> "Nobody move!"<br> "Why?"<br> "I gotta go to the jon, and I don't wanna miss nothin."<br> Peter Falk as Sam.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Steve Martin raped my childhood...

    by Gungan Slayer

    with his shitty take on Clouseau.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    BTW...Herbert Lom is 91 today!!

    by Gungan Slayer

    Happy Birthday!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Lom's Phantom of the Opera

    by Darthkrusty

    One of my favorite Hammer Horror films. Highly recommended along with most of the others in that Hammer dvd collection along with Oliver Reed's great Curse of the Werewolf.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Loved Lom's Phantom

    by HypeEndsHere

    Good call! Also, Murder by Death must have influenced the Clue film immensely and yet everyone knows Clue and no one knows of Neil Simon's underrated Murder by Death! Featuring Truman Capote!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Do you think the Comedian in Watchmen...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... is named Edward Blake for a reason?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Comedy Gold

    by masteryoda007

    This is pure comedy gold! The scence near the end were he is trying to unveil the murderer is one of the funniest things I have ever seeen. Go Sellers, you legend you.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Loved Murder By Death

    by Darthkrusty

    Mom took me to see that in the theatre when I was around 10 years old. Saw it once on cable in the 80's. Gotta revisit that one again soon!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Return of the Pink Panther not being in the box set...

    by tonagan

    Is why I refuse to buy it. What the hell was the reasoning behind that?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Murder by Death! A Cavalcade of Comedy!

    by hellcatsagogo

    This has been one of my foavorites since I caught it on PBS as a child - though the ending (which I will not spoil) scared the shite out of me as a kid. I didn't get it. I'm not sure I "get it" now, but it's fraking funny! This film made me a Neil Simon whore. His sharp witted dialogue in his 60's-70's work is unparalleled. If you want yourself a (dated) but terrific read pick up The Best of Neil Simon Vol 1 or Vol 2 and just read some of those plays. Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Star Spangled Girl. Some true classics among them. But Murder by Death is a genre filled master work. And Sellers is a highlight. "Big house like man married to fat woman: hard to get around." His Charlie Chanisms and the way we works over his son are terrific. Love this movie. Love this movie. Love it. Adulation session done.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Regarding the Filming Order

    by dpc01

    I'm not sure where I heard about the reworking of The Pink Panther from a standard caper flick into a comedy, but the issue as to whether it was the first movie filmed is addressed here "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058586/trivia". I suppose information on imdb or wikipedia can be considered to be equally as suspect. Conflicting information can be found here: "http://www.tactnyc.org/salon_show.php?sid=25&id=215", where the more accepted order is documented. There's a lot of information about the play as well.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Skip THe first Pink Panther, It's Horrible

    by BigTuna

    So overrated. It's far too long and just plain boring. Steve Martin's PP remake, althopugh crapped on, has more laughs and is more entertaining.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Return of the Pink Panther is the only Sellers not by MGM

    by HypeEndsHere

    it's an Artisan release. MGM really should have forked over the dough. It lessens the value of the boxed set they put out. this clip is nine seconds and makes me laugh for a minute... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R6FI2LfqQ4

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST

    I actually like the first one more....

    by The Dum Guy

    Although this one does start to go in a more slap-schtick way. I just like how in the first movie Clouseau is almost a side character, but still the most funny.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Ladykillers - not the horrible Cohen Remake

    by sott68

    Herbert Lom and Sellers were so great in the original.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Pink Panther Strikes Again Rocked hard

    by sott68

    The best one of them all. The Kato and Closeau fight in the apt. is one of the funniest karate scenes ever filmed. The parallel bars sequence is classic too.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Everything you wrote is incorrect dcp01

    by TimBenzedrine

    The part of Clouseau was originally going to be played by Peter Ustinov, but he dropped out and Sellers was brought in. Sellers improvised his way through all of his scenes, creating the Clouseau character as he went along, which is why the rest of the movie is so dull when Sellers is not around (it was supposed to be David Niven's picture, and he was pretty pissed about Sellers stealing the show)If it wasn't for Sellers, this movie would have been forgotten a long time ago. Actually it was Sellers presence in the film that convinced UA to commission an animated title sequence from Depate-Freling's newly formed commercial studio, and that's how Friz created the Pink Panther. Blake Edwards realised he had struck gold with this new character,(both Clouseau and the Panther) and he reworked his script for A Shot in the Dark to showcase Clouseau.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    As much as I love this movie

    by TimBenzedrine

    The only thing that keeps it from being the classic it should be is that there is no full on rear view of Elke Sommer.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    The Party

    by loki965

    If you love Peter Seller's work, you have to see The Party. It's brilliant slapstick work.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    "IT is very confusing!"

    by Jonas Grumpy

    "Say your Goddamned pronouns!"

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    The first Panther film

    by fiester

    Is as much about David Niven as it is about Sellers. But Sellers shines so much he overwhelms every scene he's in. It's interesting though that the really ridiculous French accent most people associate with the character doesn't really appear until the 1970s films, when things get really wacky. Sellers may have done them cuz he needed the money, but they're still funny as all hell. Sellers was one of a kind, never to be duplicated.<p> Also, Mike Myers ripped off a lot of the nudity gags in the Austin Powers films from "A Shot In The Dark."

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Murder By Death!

    by fiester

    Don't forget: it was written by Neil Simon and has Truman Capote in it as the creepy guy who invites them all to his mansion. Great flick.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST

    What moron thinks this was filmed first?

    by earlfist

    History lesson. Originally Peter Ustinov was cast as Clouseau. Sellers was cast in Topkapi . Sellers fell out with his director. Sellers agrees to swap roles. During end of production blake edwards realises that Sellers has stolen the picture as the hapless detective and wants to maximise the potential and re writes a straight whodunnit as a comedy vehicle for clouseau. The pink panther is huge hit and sellers becomes an international star and the studio rushes shot into release. Anyway all this shit about it being left on the shelf are you on crack? Some guys believe any shit they dream. Personally I think return of the pink panther, albeit sloppy in parts, is the real classic. I agree also that Herbert Lom equals Sellers. The films work partly coz of Loms increasing craziness, (and i found it quite touching that clouseau always remains either oblivious to his bosses hatred of him, or puts it down to his insanity. Genius also are the kato scenes. I envy you quint. You're one movie away from one of the funniest films ever. Also i've seen the alan arkin clouseau.it is total cock.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    What moron thinks this was filmed first?

    by earlfist

    History lesson. Originally Peter Ustinov was cast as Clouseau. Sellers was cast in Topkapi . Sellers fell out with his director. Sellers agrees to swap roles. During end of production blake edwards realises that Sellers has stolen the picture as the hapless detective and wants to maximise the potential and re writes a straight whodunnit as a comedy vehicle for clouseau. The pink panther is huge hit and sellers becomes an international star and the studio rushes shot into release. Anyway all this shit about it being left on the shelf are you on crack? Some guys believe any shit they dream. Personally I think return of the pink panther, albeit sloppy in parts, is the real classic. I agree also that Herbert Lom equals Sellers. The films work partly coz of Loms increasing craziness, (and i found it quite touching that clouseau always remains either oblivious to his bosses hatred of him, or puts it down to his insanity. Genius also are the kato scenes. I envy you quint. You're one movie away from one of the funniest films ever. Also i've seen the alan arkin clouseau.it is total cock.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Caught I'm All Right Jack

    by skimn

    years ago on cable, and enjoyed the hell out of it. What an great character actor Sellers was.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Revenge of the Pink Panther

    by Samson_K

    Has a scene where Clouseau and Cato are trying to break into a club - it's all very Laurel and Hardy and funny.<BR><BR>However the original scene had them blacking up and trying to be convincing as hip black guys.<BR><BR>They tried and tried to get it but Sellers just wasn't getting it so, Blake Edwards basically wrapped that day and said - 'we'll try something else'. Sellers apparently convinced Edwards to try it one more time and the next day they did. Sellers proclaimed that God had shown him the way - it was, by all accounts awful and Edwards said to Sellers.<BR><BR>Next time you talk to God - tell him to stay out of showbusiness.<BR><bR>The final nail in the coffin of their relationship - so much so that before he died Sellers was working on a script called 'Romance of the Pink Panther' and Sidney Poitier was slated to direct!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    In praise of Graham Stark

    by palimpsest

    A fine character actor / comedian and a mate of Sellars. He's awesome in RETURN (he has the funniest single line of the entire series, and his delivery is perfect). Richard Lester (again a mate of Sellars from the 1950s) and Blake Edwards liked to use Graham Stark in their movies - he's the blind guy in the opening sequence of SUPERMAN III, for instance. He's 87 next birthday!

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    My fave line from Return...

    by Denty420

    'Does Sir Charles Litton 'ave a swimming peeeoooooool?'

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    My crystal ball reveals Quint's future

    by destruit

    Over the next seven days I see you will experience much laughter but also excruciating pain.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Quint will finally understand this phrase

    by palimpsest

    "the law of diminishing returns".

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Yes, the series goes bad

    by HypeEndsHere

    and there is no continuity. some actors return and play different characters. characters that existed in the first film. for instance: Claudia Cardinale (Princess Dala) comes back for the awful Son of the Pink Panther (also not in the boxed set) starring Roberto Begnini. Yet she returns as Elke Sommers's character from a Shot in the Dark. apparently a German and a Frenchman had an illegitimate Italian baby. WTF?

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:13 p.m. CST

    palimsest......those diminishing returns only kicked in

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    after Sellars died. All the PP movies before then were terrific in their own way, regardless of the increasing slapstick component. Sellars, Lom and Kwouk refined their acts to perfection, their nuance throughout the more subtle comedy and the slapstick alike were just joyful to behold. They very nearly did rival Laurel and Hardy in the perfection of that comedy art form. Just wonderful. Everthing after Sellars died though was dire, culminating in the absolute excrement that Steve Martin perpetrated. Regarding the Sellars movies, you just have to accept that the sequels were slapstick comedies and brilliantly done at that. A bunch of clones of Shot in the Dark and the first Panther movie wouldn't have been remembered as much - they'd have just been more of the same. As it stands, I watch all Sellars Panther films and SITD at least once every year and each time I can barely breathe for laughing. Wonderful movies.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST

    by palimpsest

    I am a musician and the monkey is a businessman. He doesn't tell me what to play, and I don't tell him what to do with his money.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST

    And as an aside

    by palimpsest

    We're raving about a comedy that's almost 45 years old. And funny as fuck (I agree with the RETURN comments about it being funny too, though it relies more on slapstick. Sellers was a verbal comic, not a physical comedian, though it's testament to his genius that he was able to do both. Just a shame he was involved in so many poor movies, especially towards the end of his too-short career. And Quint, if you haven't seen BEING THERE, you really should. Imagine Sellars playing a character that's part Forrest Gump, part Zelig, part Stan Laurel, and you're about there.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    cakefarts

    by El Borak

    yummy.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Wasn't supposed to be a Clouseau film

    by Larry of Arabia

    It's based on a french stage play. Edwards was writing the script directly from the play but suddenly thought "you know what this needs? Sellers."

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    the first Pink Panther suuuucks

    by Prossor

    because it's a bunch of unfunny mugging assholes and clouseau is more of a background character. the only funny things in that movie come from him.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Quint: Peter Sellers...

    by Skyway Moaters

    That guy just kills me. "A Shot in the Dark" is easily the best of the Pink Panther films IMO. If you dig Peter Sellers, you owe it to yourself to check out: "The Mouse That Roared"-1959, "The World of Henry Orient"-1964, "What's New Pussycat"-1965, "Cacccia alla volpe" ("After the Fox")-1966, the original "Casino Royale"-1967, "The Bobo"-1967, "The Party"-1968, "I Love You, Alice B. Toklas"-1968, "The Magic Christian"-1969, "There's Girl in My Soup"-1970, (He was one busy mofo in the 60ies! And I haven't listed even half the films he appeared in during that decade, just the ones I've seen and liked a lot/loved.), and of course an absolute DO NOT MISS, is his tour-de-force performance in "Being There"-1979.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Almost as good but quite as the AMAZING ORIGINAL PINK PANTHER

    by Proman1984

    LOVE THAT MOVIE.

  • Sept. 11, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Erm, technically (I guess)...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... "A Shot in the Dark" is an "Inspector Clouseau" film, not a "Pink Panther" film, as it has nothing to do with the infamous cat burglar or the infamous pink diamond. As matter of fact, how many of the "Pink Panther" films actually involved Sir Charles or his "descendants", and or the fabled jewel of the title(s)?

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Two Featured the Pink Panther Jewel

    by Samson_K

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 2:17 a.m. CST

    "Does your dog bite?"

    by Bootskin

    "....No." <dog growls, & snaps> "I thought you said your dog did not bite.." "That is not my dog.."

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 3 a.m. CST

    This was written by William Peter Blatty.

    by Fortunesfool

    Kinda thought that might have been worth a mention...

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Coutdown to "TRAIL..." starts here...

    by JIMBOCOP

    It will turn any affection you have for Blake Edwards to outright scorn...

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Countdown to "TRAIL..." starts here...

    by JIMBOCOP

    It will turn any affection you have for Blake Edwards to outright scorn...

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 4:07 a.m. CST

    B******s!

    by JIMBOCOP

    Hate double posting! Anyway, does anyone else think the Chef in RATATOUILLE looks like Herbert Lom as Dreyfus?

  • Sept. 12, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Script by William Peter Blatty

    by Abdul_Alhazred

    Yep, the guy that wrote The Exorcist. If Quint keeps making these connections between films, this could lead to Blatty's The Ninth Configuration, which is a weird, but cool movie.