After a murder is committed at an extremely wealthy man's estate, all the evidence points to the housemaid, Maria. The police commissioner is convinced of Maria's guilt, but when bumbling, gloriously inept Inspector Clouseau arrives at the crime scene, he is adamant that Maria is simply being set up by someone else. While Clouseau is one of the most inept individuals ever put on film, a complete klutz and walking accident waiting to happen, he has uncanny instincts. With his own boss not trusting him, Inspector Clouseau attempts to solve the case and clear the name of Maria, a woman who he clearly has an interest in. Blake Edwards' A Shot in the Dark is an extremely well done, hilarious endeavor that dazzles with it's wide range of comedic technique. The basic concept of having a character who is essentially retarded in every way, yet has this unique ability to solve difficult crimes is really a great concept, and Blake Edwards and company make sure it doesn't go to waste. The way the film begins, with an exquisitely photographed sequence in which the camera slowly pans around a large home, following various characters with great precision, ultimately leading up to gunshots off screen, is really masterfully photographed and directed. Shot in the Dark isn't simply a physical comedy, but it relies on anything and everything for its laughs from visual gags to dialogue-driven humor and some great use of comedic repetition. Obviously, Peter Sellers is the absolute star of the film, showcasing his perfect comedic timing and this charming quality that really keeps the film from ever becoming monotonous. From the police commissioner essentially going crazy due to Clouseau's perceived ineptitude, to an Asian man which Clouseau personally hires to keep him own his toes by way of surprise attacks, A Shot in the Dark is just so much fun from start to finish.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.