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Without a Clue (1988)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,031 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 30 critic

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective - Dr Watson.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Leslie Giles
...
...
Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen ...
...
Norman Greenhough
Tim Killick ...
Matthew Savage ...
Wiggins
John Warner ...
Peter Giles
...
Mrs. Giles
Harold Innocent ...
Lord Mayor Gerald Fitzwalter Johnson
George Sweeney ...
John Clay
Murray Ewan ...
Archie
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Storyline

This is a Sherlock Holmes story with a difference. Here Dr Watson is the ace detective and has been using an actor to play the part Holmes. Holmes is a drunken actor and gets on Watson's nerves. When Watson tries to go it alone, he doesn't have much success, so he is forced to let Holmes take all the credit once more. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the world's greatest detective...and Sherlock Holmes. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me  »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,539,181 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening sequence of the movie is inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Sherlock Holmes story "The Red-Headed League." In the story, Sherlock Holmes captures John Clay and his accomplice, Archie. John Clay even calls out at one point, "Jump, Archie, and I'll swing for it!" See more »

Goofs

During Holmes and Moriarty's sword-fight, Michael Caine's fencing double can clearly be seen from time to time. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: Lovely story, Watson. But on page 2 you have me admitting a mistake.
Watson: A writer must write of which he knows...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed over still images of Victorian London. The final shot of Holmes and Watson form the backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings and lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by Mrs Hudson (Pat Keen) at the theatre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely brilliant, Watson! A Sherlock Holmes story where LESTRADE SOLVES THE BLOODY CASE!
23 September 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

The Sherlock Holmes stories are full of monumental blunders. Watson's famous war wound, which moves about from limb to limb, is among the least of them. Most of the blame for Arthur Conan Doyle's unparallelled clumsiness has fallen upon poor old John (or, according to one story, James) Watson - as if HE could possibly be responsible for the all (or any) of the inanities in, say, `The Mazarin Stone'.

`Without a Clue' is an honest, meticulously researched film that does what it can to redress the injustice. It reveals that Watson was really the brains of the Holmes/Watson team - that Sherlock Holmes does not, technically speaking, even exist. How does this get us around all the inconsistencies that have puzzled Sherlock aficionados over the past century? To be frank, it doesn't. But no theory does. There are just too many inconsistencies to be fended off and this theory is about as likely to be right as any other. It's the theory I tend to believe. At least it's funnier than any of its rivals.

Anyone who loves the Holmes stories - anyone who has not been exposed to the stories but is genetically predisposed to love them nonetheless - MUST see this film. You don't need to know who Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and Moriarty are in order to enjoy it. Or rather, you need to know, but whatever you may think, you DO know - knowledge of the Sherlock Holmes universe has found its way into the water supply and 90% of all people are born with it. That's why `Without a Clue' is so hilarious. That's why it won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor. Actually, it didn't win anything, but I presume this was only because of some footling technicality.

P.S.: I should really set readers' minds at rest by telling them that Lestrade doesn't really solve the case. `Without a Clue' offers us a radically revisionist account of history - but not THAT radical.


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