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    Although A Shot in the Dark is often cited as the best of the Pink Panther comedies starring Peter Sellers, the fifth film in the series--The Pink Panther Strikes Back--is a close runner-up. Combining a James Bond-ish plot with Sellers's trademark lunacy as Inspector Clouseau, the film finds Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom) driven insane by Clouseau's incompetence, threatening global destruction unless Clouseau is eliminated once and for all. Of course, the bumbling Clouseau leads a kind of charmed life, emerging relatively unscathed (and completely oblivious) from a phalanx of 26 unlucky assassins! Along the way, Sellers dons a variety of costumes and hilarious accents, and his improvisational style is given free reign. Karate showdowns with his valet, Cato (Bert Kwouk), once again keep Clouseau on his toes, and lovely Lesley-Anne Down plays a would-be assassin who finds Clouseau amorously irresistible. Highlights include the memorable "Does your dog bite?" scene between Clouseau and a goofy innkeeper, and a dental extraction scene in which Sellers and Lom reached the peak of their on-screen comedic antagonism. For good ol' fashioned slapstick comedy, they don't get much funnier than this.


    The film also features a cameo appearance by Omar Sharriff.