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Without a Clue (1988)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,802 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 30 critic

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

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Title: Without a Clue (1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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:

Without a Clue  »

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

Peter Cook, who plays Norman Greenhough, the Editor of the 'Strand' magazine (in which Watson's accounts of the Sherlock Holmes cases appear) himself played Sherlock Holmes in a 1978 version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles". See more »

Goofs

Holmes grabs a lamp off of the wall and puts it down by the hole in the floor. A short while later the lamp is back on the wall, but a short while after that it's back on the floor in time for Watson to trip over it. See more »

Quotes

[Holmes and Watson enter a home and Watson picks up the mail]
Dr. Watson: Oh, a French postcard.
Holmes: Really?
[he takes the card from Watson]
Holmes: I know a chap who collected these once. He had this wonderful one... two women... oh, it's just a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
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

Funny (but not hilarious) spoof of the legend – made twice as good as it should be by the two leads.
16 March 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective to live. Unfortunately he is only a creation of Dr Watson who is the true great detective. Forced to give life to his creation Watson hires actor Reginald Kincaid to play the part in real life. However when the pair are asked to investigate the theft of £5 note printing plates they find themselves up against Moriarty and in greater danger than they expected.

It sounds like a terrible idea – other films that have messed with the Holmes story have not done well – but this comes off quite nicely. The switch of characters is funny in itself and there are plenty of nice jokes and set pieces. The plot itself is full of holes and never grips as a mystery for one minute - but it is more than sufficient to support a comedy spoof. The real enjoyment comes not from the plot however but from another factor.

The two main actors are superb and it's their class that lifts the film well above the material. Caine is excellent and is visibly enjoying himself while Kingsley also looks at ease with his co-star. Support from Jeffrey Jones and Paul Freeman is good, but really the lead duo make the film work so well.

Overall, it is not a good mystery and it is not what you'd call hilarious – but the casting helps raise the bar a bit to create an enjoyable lightweight film.


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