Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

A Shot in the Dark (1964)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

A Shot in the Dark (1964, UK/US)

In Blake Edwards' comedy:

  • the character of bumbling, linguistically-challenged French Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) and his exasperated, long-suffering and bug-eyed Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), who promised: ("Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world!")
  • innumerable attempts to bed suspected murderess and French chambermaid Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer): ("I believe everything and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone, and I suspect no one")
  • Clouseau's pronunciation of the word 'bomb' ("beumb"), and his elaborate chalkboard drawing of the crime scene: ("Facts, Hercule, facts! Nothing matters but the facts. Without them, the science of criminal investigation is nothing more than a guessing game")
  • Clouseau's setting his trenchcoat on fire after lighting a cigarette for Maria and pocketing the still-flaming cigarette lighter ("My coat is on fire!")
  • during one romantic encounter, an untimely and inopportune interruption and sneak attack from Clouseau's own judo-attacking, karate-chopping expert-aide and Chinese manservant Kato (Burt Kwouk), who specialized in surprise attacks
  • during Clouseau's questioning of Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders), the Parisian owner of the palace where the murder was committed, during his struggle with the game of billiards using an upturned curved cue stick, and his duel with an uncooperative cue rack
  • the visit of Clouseau to find Maria at Camp Sunshine - a nudist resort, where he found a dead corpse ("Dead Dudu"), and their unclothed drive through the crowded streets of Paris
  • Dreyfus' nervous breakdown about Clouseau's inept investigation in the office of his psychoanalyst: ("He released her again, and he's taking her out to dinner. Every paper in Paris has the story, including the Christian Science Monitor; and he gave them the story. You see, he claims he's protecting her lover, and the best way to force him into the open is to make him jealous. 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...What if he's right?...I'm finished. Washed up. Sanity and reason become things of the past. Madness reigns...Relax? Don't you think l want to relax? Don't you think l'd give my arm for a good night's sleep? I haven't closed my eyes in three days. I've only eaten a chicken leg and some clear broth since Wednesday. I'm cracking up. I'm coming apart at the seams. Look at my eye. I used to have a perfectly good eye. Two eyes, l mean. No, Doctor, there is no hope. There is no hope unless l can get rid of Clouseau. I must get rid of Clouseau")


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