AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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A Shot in the Dark
Director: Blake Edwards (Dir)
Release Date:   1964
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 23 Jun 1964
Duration (in mins):   101
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Cast:   Peter Sellers (Inspector Jacques Clouseau)  
    Elke Sommer (Maria Gambrelli)  
    George Sanders (Benjamin Ballon)  
    Herbert Lom (Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus)  
    Tracy Reed (Dominique Ballon)  
    Graham Stark (Hercule Lajoy)  
    Andre Maranne (Fran├žois, Dreyfus' assistant)  
    Douglas Wilmer (Henri Lafarge)  
    Martin Benson (Maurice, 1st butler)  
    Burt Kwouk (Kato)  
    Vanda Godsell (Madame Lafarge)  
    Maurice Kaufmann (Pierre, 2d chauffeur)  
    Ann Lynn (Dudu, 1st maid)  
    David Lodge (Georges, gardener)  
    Moira Redmond (Simone, 3rd maid)  
    Reginald Beckwith (Receptionist at Camp Sunshine)  
    Turk Thrust (Charlie, locker attendant at Camp Sunshine)  
    John Herrington (Doctor)  
    Jack Melford (Psychoanalyst)  

Summary: In Paris Maria Gambrelli, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Ballon's French parlormaid, is accused of killing her Spanish lover. Inspector Jacques Clouseau, accidentally assigned to the case, believes her innocent despite all the facts indicating that she is guilty. Dreyfus, Clouseau's superior, removes him from the case and arrests Maria, but, on the following day, Dreyfus learns that certain influential people wish Clouseau back on the case. Reassigned, Clouseau releases Maria and before long finds her with the gardener's dead body. Again arrested for murder, Maria is quickly released by Clouseau, who still believes in her innocence. He follows her to a nudist camp where Dudu, the Ballon's first maid, is found murdered and Maria again comes under suspicion. Lafarge, the Ballon's majordomo, is then murdered. Maria is once more arrested, and Clouseau is again removed from the case. Dreyfus reassigns the case to Clouseau, who releases Maria and takes her nightclubbing. In the course of the evening, four innocent people are killed, around the oblivious Clouseau, as a result of unsuccessful attempts on his life. The inspector gathers the six remaining suspects together in the Ballon house. They begin to accuse one another until the lights go out, and Maria and Clouseau find themselves alone. All six attempt to flee in Clouseau's car, which has been wired with a bomb intended for him. The car explodes and Clouseau has, in his own way, solved the case by the elimination of the suspects. Dreyfus goes insane because he is the real murderer, having committed the crimes to discredit the bumbling detective and thereby remove him from his staff--only to have him emerge a hero. 

Production Company: Mirisch-Geoffrey Productions  
Production Text: A Blake Edwards Production
Distribution Company: United Artists  
Director: Blake Edwards (Dir)
  Derek Cracknell (Asst dir)
Producer: Blake Edwards (Prod)
  Cecil F. Ford (Assoc prod)
Writer: Blake Edwards (Scr)
  William Peter Blatty (Scr)
Photography: Christopher Challis (Dir of photog)
  Austin Dempster (Cam op)
Art Direction: Michael Stringer (Prod des)
Film Editor: Ralph E. Winters (Film ed)
  Bert Bates (Film ed)
Costumes: Margaret Furse (Cost des)
Music: Henry Mancini (Mus)
Sound: John Bramall (Sd rec)
  J. B. Smith (Sd rec)
  Ted Mason (Sd ed)
Production Misc: Denis Johnson (Prod mgr)
  Connie Willis (Cont)
  DePatie-Freleng (Titles created by)
Animation: George Dunning, Ltd. (Anim production)
Country: United States

Songs: "Shadow of Paris," words and music by Henry Mancini and Robert Wells.
Composer: Henry Mancini
  Robert Wells
Source Text: Based on the play A Shot in the Dark by Harry Kurnitz (New York, 18 Oct 1961) and the play L'idiote by Marcel Achard (Paris, 23 Sep 1960).
Authors: Marcel Achard
  Harry Kurnitz

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Mirisch-Geoffrey Productions 23/6/1964 dd/mm/yyyy LP28602

Physical Properties: col: De Luxe
  Sd:
  Widescreen/ratio: Panavision

 
Genre: Mystery
  Comedy
  Mystery
 
Subjects (Major): Bombs
  Butlers
  Chauffeurs
  Detectives
  Frame-ups
  French
  Gardeners
  Maids
  Insanity
  Inspector Clouseau
  Majordomos
  Murder
  Nightclubs
  Nudist camps
  Paris (France)
  Police

Note: Locations filmed in Paris. Released in Great Britain in 1965. 

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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