January 30, 2017

A Shot in the Dark.

Review #899: A Shot in the Dark.

Peter Sellers (Jacques Clouseau), Elke Sommer (Maria Gambrelli), George Sanders (Benjamin Ballon), Herbert Lom (Charles Dreyfus), Tracy Reed (Dominique Ballon), Graham Stark (Hercule Lajoy), Moira Redmond (Simone), Vanda Godsell (Madame LaFarge), Maurice Kaufmann (Pierre), Ann Lynn (Dudu), David Lodge (Georges), André Maranne (François), Martin Benson (Maurice), and Burt Kwouk (Kato) Directed by Blake Edwards (#329 - The Pink Panther and #481 - The Party)

One thing that definitely can be said about this is that it certainly continues the laughs from The Pink Panther (released less with Sellers in control this time around as the main lead, with a more peculiar accent that became the hallmark of the character. With a great deal of slapstick and gags that combine with an engaging cast willing to have fun, A Shot in the Dark is also a fine sequel, while introducing newcomers that would become mainstays in the franchise, such as Lom as the long-suffering Dreyfus and Kwouk as Cato, the skilled servant used to "help" Clouseau in keeping his skills. Both are prime in their roles, with the latter getting especially more compelling the more the film goes on. It's also a pretty decent mystery as well, where the facts and allure balance handily with a movie that never veers too seriously but also never veers too ridiculously off-point, where every scene has something worth watching. Sellers and Sommer have a fair balance of chemistry together, right from their opening scene, where Clouseau catches on fire. Sellers seems at ease doing this role, with the right sense of bumbling incompetence that never ceases to entertain nor overstay its welcome, even when it repeats a gag or two a few times. I'd say some of the situations, but that just spoils the fun of what is a good romp. The movie gets wild, but it never goes completely off the rails, always having a sense of responsibility, with a fairly concocted climax as well.  At 102 minutes, A Shot in the Dark is also pretty well paced, having the right amount of gags and characters to make for a fun movie for anyone.

Countdown to #900: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Tomorrow night: Number Nine Hundred.

Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.

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