A Shot in the Dark, directed by Blake Edwards with Peter Sellers in the leading role
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
An excellent comedy with Peter Sellers in the leading role.
Blake Edwards is the excellent director.
The main personage is the famous or better said infamous Inspector Clouseau.
From the start, a murder is committed and hence
- The Shot in the Dark
Dreyfus is the boss of the inspector and he has to see a psychiatrist on account of the effect that Clouseau has had on his mind.
- Dreyfus: Jealous! That nincompoop, that megalomaniac. He's setting the science of criminal investigation back a thousand years, and I can't do anything about it.
- The Psycho-Analyst: Why not?
- Dreyfus: Why not? What if he's right?
When Inspector Clouseau meets with the beautiful suspect, Maria Gambrelli is instantly attracted and convinced she is innocent.
Even if she was found with a smoking gun in hand and her lover dead in her room and with other bodies in her vicinity later on.
There are all sort of strange habits and humorous situations, including the permanent fights with Cato.
The very fact that an inspector has a sort of man servant at his disposal is outré enough, but they also fight in hilarious ways.
When he arrives at the mansion of Benjamin Ballon, a rich man portrayed excellently by George Sanders, Clouseau falls in the fountain.
So he walks about the place in wet clothes and then he shows his philosophical side to the attractive maid:
- Maria Gambrelli: You should get out of these clothes immediately! You'll catch your death of pneumonia, you will.
- Clouseau: Yes, I suppose I probably will; but, it’s all part of life's rich pageant, you know.
When he plays pool with Benjamin Ballon he starts by destroying the sticks and then he continues with the pool table.
This is what Inspector Clouseau generally does…he wrecks the places he visits and does not look like he will ever solve any case
And yet he does.
Even when it involves entering a…nudist colony:
- Clouseau: I am here on official business and I am looking for someone in the recreation area.
- Camp Attendant: Not unless you take off your clothes...
- Clouseau: You, sir, are under arrest.
- Camp Attendant: Arrest? What for?
- Clouseau: For making lewd and suggestive remarks to an official of the French government.
- Camp Attendant: Lewd and suggestive remarks?
- Clouseau: Also for indecent exposure... doesn't anyone wear any clothes around here?
- Camp Attendant: No.
- Clouseau: What!
- Camp Attendant: This is a nudist colony.
And the dialogue is longer and funny.
Some of the humor is absurd, but still wondrous, especially in the magical interpretation of Peter Sellers:
- Clouseau: What do you want?
- Hercule LaJoy: You sent for me.
- Clouseau: Of course I sent for you!
But it also gets literary:
- Dominique Ballon: Well, shall we settle this thing now or do you intend making me late for the recital?
- Benjamin Ballon: We can't just *fire* her. She's given us no cause.
- Dominique Ballon: Cause! We are up to our necks in dead bodies! What are you waiting for? The last act of Hamlet?
- Benjamin Ballon: If you are going to compare the Ballon household with a Shakespearean tragedy, I suggest that Macbeth would be more appropriate.