7.0/10
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51 user 21 critic

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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Peabody
Lester Rawlins ...
Blevins
...
Messenger
...
Daisy
Ron Weyand ...
Dr. Strauss
...
...
Peggy
Jenny Egan ...
Miss Finch
Jane Hoffman ...
2nd Telephone Operator
...
Telephone Guard
...
Policeman
...
Mr. Brown
...
Grace
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A detektív és a doktor  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The genesis of this film is unusual, as James Goldman's original play, dating from the mid-60s, had never been produced anywhere in the United States by the time the film was made. Goldman had reworked it several times, and there had been a short-run production of it in London in 1966, directed by Joan Littlewood at her famous Stratford East theater, far way from the West End. Harry H. Corbett had played the lead. Goldman was still dissatisfied, but, after the great success in 1968 of the film version of his subsequent play "The Lion In Winter", he and its director Anthony Harvey found themselves being lauded in Hollywood and asked if they might have any ideas for a future collaboration. Goldman had another go at revising his play as a film script, now setting it in New York streets and creating many new characters. The film was not a success, although it has become a cult favorite. See more »

Goofs

When Scott and Woodward are riding in a taxi, from his angle the cab is stopped; from her angle the cab is moving. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Mildred Watson: You're just like Don Quixote. You think that everything is always something else.
Justin Playfair: Well, he had a point. 'Course he carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That's insane. But, thinking that they might be, well... All the best minds used to think the world was flat. But what if it isn't? It might be round. And bread mold might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what might be, why we'd all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes.
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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 »

Connections

Followed by The Return of the World's Greatest Detective (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
And They WERE Giants
12 December 2005 | by 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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