The success of The Pink Panther (1963) created a new comic favourite in the accident-prone form of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau, so a sequel was inevitable.
But this is where the Clouseau character was properly invented, along with his driven-to-distraction boss, Dreyfus.
Clouseau lurches towards the solution of a murder mystery adapted from plays by Harry Kurnitz and Marcel Achard, and by trying to clear saucy chambermaid Elke Sommer of the crime leaves a trail of additional bodies in his wake – before finding that all is revealed in a nudist camp.
“Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world,” blurts his bewildered boss Herbert Lom.
A Shot In The Dark still stands up better than Austin Powers (1997) – and doesn’t require constant winks to the camera to work.
Inspector Jacques Clouseau
Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus