IMDb > Sleuth (1972)
Sleuth
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Sleuth (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   33,009 votes »
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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Anthony Shaffer (play)
Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sleuth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 December 1972 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
If it was murder, where's the body? [original movie poster] See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the best thrillers of all time See more (129 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Joseph L. Mankiewicz 
 
Writing credits
Anthony Shaffer (play)

Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)

Produced by
Morton Gottlieb .... producer
David Middlemas .... associate producer
Edgar J. Scherick .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
John Addison 
 
Cinematography by
Oswald Morris 
 
Film Editing by
Richard Marden 
 
Production Design by
Ken Adam 
 
Art Direction by
Peter Lamont 
 
Set Decoration by
John Jarvis 
 
Costume Design by
John Furniss 
 
Makeup Department
Tom Smith .... makeup artist
Joan White .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Frank Ernst .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kip Gowans .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Ken Barker .... sound recordist
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (as John Mitchell)
Don Sharpe .... sound editor
Graham V. Hartstone .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Les Hillman .... special effects (as Leslie Hillman)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jimmy Turrell .... camera operator
David Pearce .... film unit (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Mary Kessel .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
John Addison .... conductor
John Addison .... music arranger
Gary Hughes .... music arranger: songs (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Elaine Schreyeck .... continuity
Allan B. Schwartz .... production executive
Robin Demetriou .... cast and crew chef (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
138 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Alec Cawthorne receives an "introducing" creditSee more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Camera shadow on Milo's hidden car.See more »
Quotes:
Andrew Wyke:Put that back, please! It's an old Egyptian blocking game. It's taken me rather a long time to get it there.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Designing Bond: Peter Lamont (2000) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Anything goesSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is "Sleuth" based on a novel?
Any recommendations for other murder mystery movies like "Sleuth"?
See more »
28 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
One of the best thrillers of all time, 23 September 2004
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

Sleuth is, without doubt, one of the finest thrillers ever made. It continually keeps you on the edge of your seat and you never truly know where you are. This is an excellent thing for a thriller to do as it ensures that you will keep watching for that all important next plot development. The plot itself follows a man named Andrew (played by Lawrence Olivier) who is a big fan of playing games. He invites the man that has run off with his wife; Milo (Michael Caine) to his house, and while there, he entices him into a plot to steal his wife's jewels so that he can avoid the taxman, and so that Caine can accommodate his new found girlfriend's overly expensive tastes. To give anything else of the plot away would be running the risk of spoiling what is a fascinating piece of cinema, so I will leave the plot details at that. The plot meanders in a way that is hard to pin down; the film remains ambiguous all the way through; nothing is ever what it seems, and that is what makes Sleuth a cut above many detective mysteries.

This movie stars two super-heavyweights of the British movie industry; Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine. The film requires the two to be on screen for nearly the full duration of the movie, so it is obviously essential that they perform to a high standard; and I can confirm they most certainly do just that. The chemistry between the two is outstanding. The way that the sublime dialogue bounds back and fourth between the two is simply a pleasure to watch; and is more entertaining than a lot of movies that are made simply for entertainment purposes. The two do have a tendency to get a bit dramatic at times, there's is a particular sequence in the cellar that springs to mind immediately on that front; but the over-dramatics add to the atmosphere of the film. The film is very different and over the top in it's style anyway; it plays out almost like a moving detective novel, and the fact that both actors have a tendency to camp it up gives the movie something that it would not have had otherwise. The film is based on a stage play by Anthony Shaffer, and this is evident throughout the movie as it plays out just like a stage play on the big screen. The only film that I can think of that is similar to Sleuth in this way is Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope'. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also made the classic All About Eve, very astutely directs this film. I would even go as far as to say that the direction here is better than it was in All About Eve; Joseph L. Mankiewicz's use of the camera is amazing and you can tell throughout the film that this is an auteur at the absolute top of his game. Overall, Sleuth is one of the best films ever made. It is amazing just how brilliant a film can be with a miniscule cast and a brilliant script, and if only for that fact alone; Sleuth is a film that you need to see.

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