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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.

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(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

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Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A detektív és a doktor  »

Company Credits

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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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Jehovah has the Devil, Achilles has his Heel, Mohammed has his Mountain, Don Quixote has his Windmills; and SHERLOCK HOLMES, God bless him, has his MORIARTY"
  • from Watson's Journal
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mighty Jack (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
flawed but delightful fantasy/offbeat romantic comedy
26 October 1998 | by See all my reviews

They Might Be Giants is one of my two all-time favorite films. It has its problems: it's somewhat dated, the characters are often one-dimensional, and there's one scene that's SO mawkish and dated it makes me cringe (the hippie girl at the phone company). Nevertheless, it's a wonderfully constructed film with terrific performances from George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, Jack Gilford, and many top-flight character actors. It's also a great look at NYC circa 1970, and has the best supermarket scene I've ever seen. Most of all, it's a fantasy that has firm roots in, and leads back to, reality. And it's quite romantic, too--especially for those who've had little luck in that department.


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