Watched: June 25 2019
Director: Blake Edwards
Starring: Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, George Sanders, Herbert Lom, Tracy Reed, Burt Kwouk, our dad’s old guitar.
Runtime: 1h 42min
We’re back! After charging our batteries in lovely Vietnam (you must go!) we’re ready for another year of classic A-, B-, and C-movies, starting with the very silly and charming A Shot in the Dark.
We open on a series of illicit affairs and romances all taking place in the same building, and the scene ends in a shot. In the dark. And then a dead chauffeur. Enter Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Sellers).
The incompetent and clumsy inspector is the only one convinced that main suspect, the beautiful maid Maria Gambrelli (Sommer), is innocent, and he sets out to prove this. In the course of his investiation, the bodies keep piling up and his superior, Commissioner Dreyfus (Lom), is gradually driven mad and homicidal by Clouseau’s apparent bungling of the case.
The plot is not really that important though. This is all about the gags, and they are numerous and hilarious.
There are so many things we adored in this movie. We particularly loved Kato and his sneak attacks, the lethal (and multicultural) date night, all Clouseau’s disguises, and the synchronising of the watches. However, the gags are too numerous to list, and the entire movie is just a masterclass in slapstick and physical comedy.
We were slightly traumatised by Sellers using our dad’s old guitar to cover up in the nudist colony (we swear it’s the exact guitar!) but otherwise we had a blast with this movie. Often, we become frustrated and annoyed with bumbling, incompetent characters and farces, but Sellers is so damned good that in this case we were just charmed instead. Well done, Edwards and Sellers!
What we learned: We suspect everyone. And we suspect no one. Also, no fabric is safe around this man.
Next time: Band of Outsiders/Bande à part (1964)