[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a_shot_in_the_dark_poster.jpg]]

->''"Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world."''
-->--'''Chief Inspector Dreyfus'''

''A Shot in the Dark'' is the second film in ''Franchise/ThePinkPanther'' franchise, released in 1964.

Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Creator/PeterSellers), now single, is summoned to the estate of the aristocratic Benjamin Ballon (Creator/GeorgeSanders) to investigate the murder of Ballon's chauffeur. Clouseau's judgment is immediately clouded by his infatuation with the prime suspect, the maid Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer), even as more murders pile up around her. His bungling drives his boss, Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), to homicidal madness. In the meantime, we also meet Cato Fong (Burt Kwouk), Clouseau's Chinese manservant, who -- on Clouseau's orders -- keeps springing surprise martial arts attacks on him.

Loosely adapted from a 1961 Broadway play of the same name, which was itself based on a French play called ''L'Idiote (The Idiot)'' and featured a cast including Creator/WilliamShatner, Julie Harris, and Creator/WalterMatthau (who won a Tony Award for his performance). Director Creator/BlakeEdwards wrote the screenplay adaptation with William Peter Blatty, who later went on to write ''Literature/TheExorcist''.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* ThirtySecondBlackout: The blackout lasts only five seconds and leaves the whole Ballon mansion in pitch darkness.
* AndAnotherThing: The basis of a particularly funny gag, using it to spoof DoorFocus.
* AnimatedCreditsOpening: Once again animated by [[Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises DePatie-Freleng]], who'd done the credits for the first ''Pink Panther'' film.
* AsideGlance: Clouseau gives the camera a hapless stare when his final attempt at unmasking the murderer dissolves into a verbal melee between all the suspects.
* BadGuysPlayPool: Ballon, who is [[spoiler:one of four murderers]] in the case Clouseau is trying to solve, plays the game with him. During the game, Clouseau accuses him of being the murderer -- [[spoiler: which, ''at the time'', he wasn't]].
* BaitAndSwitch: When we first see Dreyfus, he's on the phone talking sweetly to his "darling", telling her he's on his way with cheese and wine and to "kiss the children for me". Then his assistant François buzzes to tell him his wife is on the other line.
* BeleagueredAssistant: Hercule Lajoy is this to Clouseau. The character didn't appear in subsequent films, although his actor (Graham Stark) did return [[YouLookFamiliar in other roles]].
* TheCameo: British director/producer/writer/actor Bryan Forbes, billed as "Turk Thrust", as the nudist camp attendant. The pseudonym was inspired by a joke he and friend Peter Sellers had conceived.
* CaptainObvious: While Clouseau is discussing things with Ballon, a servant walks in:
--> '''Servant:''' Telephone, monsieur, for Inspector Clouseau.
--> '''Clouseau:''' Ah, that would be for me.
* DarkerAndEdgier: It is definitely the darkest film of the entire franchise. ''Strikes Again'' could be second, though it's more of a BlackComedy.
* DolledUpInstallment: The original play had nothing to do with Clouseau, but after the success of the first ''Pink Panther'' film the adaptation was written to incorporate him as the lead character.
* FollowThatCar: A variation appears when he instructs the police car driver who brought him to the estate to go "back to town", so he drives off before Clouseau can get in.
* HandOfDeath: Several botched attempts to kill Clouseau.
* InsaneTrollLogic: Maria keeps turning up at the scene of a murder, holding the murder weapon. Clouseau takes this as evidence that she's innocent.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: Once again composed by Music/HenryMancini. It was later used as the theme for ''WesternAnimation/TheInspector'' cartoon series.
* KarmaHoudini: Dreyfus (accidentally) kills four innocent bystanders in an attempt to kill Clouseau, yet no one calls him on it.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: About the only ways you can watch the film for the first time and not already know that the Asian man attacking Clouseau is Cato and that the shadowy figure trying to kill Clouseau is Dreyfus is by knowing nothing at all about the film series or by knowing nothing except the order in which the films came out and watching them in order. As it is, since it doesn't have "Pink Panther" in the title, ''Shot'' is likely to be one of the ''last'' films of the series you're going to see.
* MasterOfDisguise: Clouseau ''tries'' to be this, anyway.
* NakedFreakOut: When Clouseau and Maria Gambrelli are [[spoiler:caught naked in public]].
* NeverMyFault: Guilt of the murders fell, according to everybody but Clouseau, on Maria Gambrelli -- until the end.
* OhCrap: Dreyfus, when he's told that Clouseau has been assigned to the case.
* RunningGag: Clouseau getting arrested while undercover and hauled off in the police van.
* SanitySlippage: Poor, poor Chief Inspector Dreyfus.
* SummationGathering: Subverted; Clouseau has no idea who the killer is, and is just hoping they'll expose themselves by panicking.
* ThatRussianSquatDance: Clouseau rips his pants as he attempts one of these.
* TimeBomb: Dreyfus sends Clouseau a clock that is really a bomb set to go off at three. When it goes off, however, [[NonFatalExplosion nobody is killed or injured]].
* YourCheatingHeart: Maria was having an affair with the married victim, which is why she's the primary suspect.
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