Without a Clue (1988)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  21 October 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,839 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 32 critic

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Giles
Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen ...
Peter Cook ...
Tim Killick ...
Matthew Savage ...
John Warner ...
Peter Giles
Real Lesley
Harold Innocent ...
Mayor Johnson
George Sweeney ...
Murray Ewan ...


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


The flip side of Sherlock Holmes. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me  »

Box Office


$8,539,181 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of the stage production written by fictional playwright Oswald Brund and billed as "A New Drama", that alcoholic second-rate actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) had starred in, and which had closed before it had even finished its first performance on opening night at the Orpheum Theatre, was "Shadow of Death". See more »


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 »


Holmes: How can I be expected to maintain the character when you belittle me in front of those hooligans?
Watson: Character? Are we talking about the same man who once declared with total conviction that the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death with a blunt *excrement*?
Holmes: Is it my fault you have such poor handwriting?
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 »


Featured in Timeshift: A Study in Sherlock (2005) See more »


Rock of Ages
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

A true lost gem
6 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

The premise is so clever. Sherlock Holmes never really existed. It was Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley) who had been solving these cases all along, and simply hired bumbling actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) to play the fake Sherlock Holmes.

To those who are hard-core Holmes fans, this film will be cherished. Sadly, the VHS is out of print in the USA (I bought mine used at a flea market), and DVDs are available only in Europe.

(UPDATE: The film has been released on DVD in the USA, but in Pan & Scan.)

Also, the film received hardly any promotion in the USA. But it is lavishly directed, cleverly written, and magnificently cast.

Everything about this film deserves exclamation points!

Track it down any way you can, and prepare to laugh out loud.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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