Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Shot in the Dark
A Shot in the Dark is a 1964 film directed by Blake Edwards and is the second installment in the Pink Panther series. Peter Sellers is featured again as Inspector Jacques Clouseau of the French Surete, with Herbert Lom as his boss, Commissioner Dreyfus, and Burt Kwouk as his long-suffering servant, Cato. Elke Sommer plays the attractive Maria Gambrelli.
The film was not originally written to include Clouseau, but rather to be an adaptation of a stage play by Harry Kurnitz , which in turn was based upon the play L'Idiot by Marcel Achard. As Blake Edwards and future The Exorcist creator William Peter Blatty began work on the script, they decided to insert the character of Clouseau into the proceedings. The film was released only a few months after the first Clouseau film, The Pink Panther.
Inspector Clouseau is called to the country home of a Paris plutocrat to solve a murder mystery. As all evidence points to a beautiful maid, a love-struck Clouseau stubbornly refuses to admit that she is guilty. As the real culprits attempt to keep everything away from Clouseau's boss Commissioner Dreyfus, they must commit even more murders to cover up. Clouseau always manages to be at the wrong place at the right time, including a scene in a nudist colony. As the Inspector continues to screw up, he slowly drives his boss mad. Eventually, Dreyfus starts gunning for him, leading to an (literally) explosive finale.
Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers)
Clouseau is the bumbling detective of the Pink Panther films, with a stereotypical French accent and an incredibly clumsy manner. Clouseau constantly causes his bosses pain, and in one case, drives one particular superior insane several times throughout the course of the films.
Commissioner Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom)
Dreyfus is Clouseau's boss, first seen in A Shot in the Dark. He slowly goes mad throughout the film, leading to the end, where he repeatedly attempts to kill him. Dreyfus is consigned to an asylum several times. When he was asked to read the Inspector's eulogy (written by someone who actually liked him), he couldn't keep himslf from laughing. Sometimes he goes back to his old job, but once he went completely nuts, attempting to take over the world just to kill Clouseau.
Cato (Burt Kwouk)
Cato is Clouseau's servant, trained in the martial arts. Clouseau, suspecting murderers were trying to kill him, ordered a "training program" with Cato, telling him to attack "wherever and whenever I least expect it." This becomes a running gag throughout the films, as Cato chooses to attack his boss at the worst possible times.
Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders)
Ballon is the millionaire at whose house the initial murder takes place. Due to a complex network of affairs between the various people in the house, they begin murdering people, eventually raising the count to four. They decide to pin the blame on the unsuspecting maid, whom Clouseau becomes infatuated with, and forces the perpetrators to attempt to disappear, and due to a mistake, they do-permanently.
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