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Sleuth (1972)

PG  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  10 December 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 35,796 users  
Reviews: 139 user | 58 critic

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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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Alec Cawthorne ...
John Matthews ...
Eve Channing ...
Teddy Martin ...


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


If it was murder, where's the body? [original movie poster] See more »


Mystery | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

10 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El detective  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Andrew goes and answers the ring of the doorbell, you see him walk past two pictures of the former King Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor on a wall. The Duke of Windsor died during the making of the film and the production team added a historical touch to mark this event by including pictures of the late Duke. See more »


After Inspector Doppler rings the door bell the first time, and Andrew checks the door, the cameraman's shadow is visible on the wall before he passes the window. See more »


Milo Tindle: You're mad! You're a bloody madman!
Andrew Wyke: You are a young man dressed as a clown about to be murdered.
See more »


Version of Sleuth (2007) See more »


You do something to me
Words and music by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

123 of 173 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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