A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

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(play), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Alec Cawthorne ...
John Matthews ...
Eve Channing ...
Teddy Martin ...
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Storyline

Milo Tindle and Andrew Wyke have something in common, Andrew's wife. In an attempt to find a way out of this without costing Andrew a fortune in alimony, he suggests Milo pretend to rob his house and let him claim the insurance on the stolen jewelry. The problem is that they don't really like each other and each cannot avoid the zinger on the other. The plot has many shifts in which the advantage shifts between Milo and Andrew. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who was the player? Who was the pawn? In this deadly game . . . See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

10 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El detective  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alec Cawthorne receives an "introducing" credit See more »

Goofs

When Milo and Andrew have blown the safe and are organizing the fake robbery, the shadows of crew members are visible behind the translucent windows. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Wyke: For Christ sake Milo, they couldn't have made more noise on D-Day.
Milo Tindle: The bloody glass came out, my bloody boot got stuck and I fell down the bloody ladder.
Andrew Wyke: Well the bloody police must have heard it all the way to bloody Salisbury.
Milo Tindle: I'm sorry.
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Connections

Referenced in Film 2016: Episode #44.2 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

You do something to me
Words and music by Cole Porter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A supporting cast to die for
12 April 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

To me, "Sleuth" is a demonstration of the problem with the Oscars (certainly a problem in 1972, and perhaps now also). The problem was that, even before the casting was done for the film of Mario Puzo's "The Godfather," everyone knew that whoever played the leading role was going to receive the Best Actor Oscar, irrespective of the performance. To rate Brando's performance above the performances of Caine and Olivier that year is nothing short of ludicrous. All I can say is thank God that at least Joel Grey received the best support Oscar for "Cabaret" that year.

I first saw Anthony Schaffer's play on the London stage about two years prior to the release of the movie. The leading roles were taken by Paul Rogers and Donal Donnelly, two fine English actors who were superb in these parts. I remember thinking what a difficult thing it would be to make a film of this, but I was sure that someone would try it and make a mess of it. How wrong I was!

I note that "Sleuth" comes up as #250 in the IMDB top 250. I recently selected my top 100 and it comes up at #55. This is a magnificent movie that keeps one on the edge of the seat for its entire length. The performances of the two leads as they play the same game a number of times is stunning. Here is the man acknowledged as perhaps the greatest actor of the 20th century, and here is the Cockney up-start Caine (famous for his "kitchen-sink" roles such as in "Alfie") matching him at every turn and often soaring above him.

But in saying all this, I need to put in a plug for perhaps the finest supporting performances ever delivered. Alec Cawthorne, a man few have heard of outside "Sleuth," is mesmerising as Doppler, while John Matthews and Eve Channing, although having very minor parts, imbue every nuance of their performances with ethereal splendour.


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