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They Might Be Giants (1971)

In a Manhattan psychiatric hospital a man, convinced he is Sherlock Holmes, is treated by a female doctor who happens to be named Watson.



(screenplay), (play)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lester Rawlins ...
Ron Weyand ...
Dr. Strauss
Oliver Clark ...
Mr. Small
Jenny Egan ...
Miss Finch
Jane Hoffman ...
2nd Telephone Operator
Telephone Guard
Mr. Brown


They Might be Giants chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern-day New York City. The fact that Sherlock Holmes is a psychotic paranoid and Dr. Watson is a female psychiatrist fascinated by his case is almost beside the point. Dr. Watson follows Holmes across Manhattan and is, against her better judgment, drawn into the master detective's world of intrigue and danger. This is a sweet, goofy and fairly romantic film that asks the questions "Whose reality is right...and does it really matter?" Written by John Gerrath <jagerrat@uoguelph.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When they reach out for each other... they touch every heart... with warmth, charm and laughter!


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1972 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

A detektív és a doktor  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film provided US Alternative rock outfit 'They Might be Giants' with their name. See more »


Obvious stuntman for George C. Scott during scuffle with vendor. See more »


Mr. Small: Will there be... danger?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: The human heart can see what is hidden to the eyes, and the heart knows things that the mind does not begin to understand. See more »


References Don Quijote de la Mancha (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

And They WERE Giants
12 December 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

I saw this gem of a motion picture on television in the early 70's. I really was no more than a boy when I saw it and yet it touched me in a way that no other film had. For the first time I appreciated a piece of cinema for more than just idle distraction from dull small town Texas life. They Might Be Giants taught me that movies could be art and could elevate as much as they entertain. From that time to this, whenever I am asked what is my favourite film, I always point to this picture. It was done on a very low budget so the story, characters and amazing actors carry it along the streets of New York, creating a world of whimsical romance and serio-comic tension. The relationship between the mad Justin Playfair (a loony judge who thinks he's Sherlock Homes) and Dr. Mildred Watson (obviously destined to become the pschizo's unwilling side kick) builds into a romance that is funny, touching and, by the end, uplifting. It is available on DVD now and is a cherished piece of my extensive collection. 10 out of 10 all the way.

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