MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 114 this week

Without a Clue (1988)

7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,029 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 30 critic

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

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 19 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 45 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Without a Clue" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Without a Clue (1988)

Without a Clue (1988) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Without a Clue.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

April Rain (2014)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

When an eclectic group of terrorists plot to attack the United States from within, it's up to a quasi-military special investigative unit to identify, infiltrate and neutralize the threat.

Director: Luciano Saber
Stars: Ryan Guzman, Ming-Na Wen, Andrew Keegan
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

After being released from prison, Bobby goes back to the mob connected streets. When forced to make a life altering decision the truth is revealed that he was too blind to see.

Director: Paul Borghese
Stars: Armand Assante, William DeMeo, Cathy Moriarty
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to discover that she had been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious cult. Soon, he comes to suspect that his ... See full summary »

Director: Rodrigo Gudiño
Stars: Aaron Poole, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Richings
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.

Director: Matty Beckerman
Stars: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A group of oddball high school students find themselves trapped in detention with their classmates having turned into a horde of Zombies.

Director: Alex Craig Mann
Stars: Jacob Zachar, Alexa Nikolas, Christa B. Allen
Bad Johnson (2014)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A charismatic womanizer receives his comeuppance after his penis mysteriously leaves his body and takes human form.

Director: Huck Botko
Stars: Cam Gigandet, Jamie Chung, Nick Thune
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

Imagine an insatiable demon that feeds on blood, thrives on pain, and reaches from beyond the grave to torment the living...and the dead. For believers and skeptics alike, there is nothing ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Boholst
Stars: Ama Amoafo-Yeboah, Davante Bell, Tomas Boykin
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Simple conversations engender complicated human interactions. Jeanne is open and even-tempered, a philosophy teacher at a lycée. Her fiancé is away and she doesn't want to stay at his messy... See full summary »

Director: Eric Rohmer
Stars: Anne Teyssèdre, Hugues Quester, Florence Darel
Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1933. An ocean liner, belonging to a second rate German company, is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way, they will stop in Cuba to ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman's life is derailed en route to a potentially lucrative summer job. When her car breaks down, and her dog is taken to the pound, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes ... See full summary »

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Michelle Williams, Lucy, David Koppell
Coldwater (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A teenage boy is sent to a juvenile reform facility in the wilderness. As we learn about the tragic events that sent him there, his struggle becomes one for survival with the inmates, counselors, and the retired war colonel in charge.

Director: Vincent Grashaw
Stars: P.J. Boudousqué, James C. Burns, Chris Petrovski
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

When Inspector Lestrade leaves the British Mint in a carriage, there is just him and the driver. When he arrives at Gile's house, he now has two policemen with him and the driver. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: As a matter of fact, Lestrade, You can be some help.
Inspector Lestrade: Of course!
Holmes: Hold my coat, it's hot in here.
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

Featured in Timeshift: A Study in Sherlock (2007) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Elementary, My Dear Holmes
26 May 2005 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

"Without A Clue" might be called "Without A Trace," as it sunk upon its 1988 release much like a set of five-pound-note engravings at the bottom of Lake Windemere. Hopefully the new DVD release, albeit pan-and-scan, will give people another chance to catch this terrific send-up of fiction's most celebrated detective.

This is the film that dares reveal Sherlock Holmes is a fraud, an out-of-work actor named Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) pulled out of the gutter by a desperate crime-solving doctor named Watson (Ben Kingsley) who needed to produce someone to play the part of this invention of his. Dr. Watson, you see, didn't want the initial notoriety of his sleuthing successes. He desired admission to a medical college that would frown on such things. Now he wishes he wasn't so successful in playing Kincaid off as Holmes; Kincaid's a drunken womanizing blaggard grown too big for his britches, whining that Watson doesn't treat him at all times with the respect his borrowed robes command.

"I am the one the public really cares about," Kincaid/Holmes sniffs.

"Are we talking of the same man who once declared the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death by a blunt EXCREMENT?"

"Is it my fault if you have such poor handwriting?"

The lines aren't all polished gems, but they complement a pair of nice comic performances by Caine and Kingsley that keep spirits merry as the game goes afoot.

Also well-done is the understated late Victorian period detail and some strategic nods to the Holmes canon like the presence of Mrs. Hudson the housekeeper and the Baker Street Irregulars, all of whom are in on the Kincaid/Holmes secret. There's choice digs at Holmes' notoriety throughout, like a fellow who gives some meaningless eyewitness testimony to Holmes before a rapt hometown crowd who break into applause when Holmes tells Watson: "Make a note of it." Watson's slow burns here and elsewhere reward repeat viewings.

With Henry Mancini doing the score and director Thom Eberhardt effectively working in a light Ealing tone, this film plays like some great lost Peter Sellers comedy, except Sellers would never share the screen so easily with another as Caine and Kingsley do here. Eberhardt also did good work in another film that went past too many people, "Year Of The Comet;" it's a shame we didn't see more of him.

This would be a classic if the mystery at the heart of the story was more developed, and there are a pair of unnecessary killings that distract momentarily from the light tone. I'm not wild about all the supporting performances, but Jeffrey Jones is a very funny Lestrade as he chases Holmes around an abandoned house on his hands and knees, Watson having told his partner first to do his usual sleuthing routine so Watson himself can root around unobserved. Lysette Anthony is sexy and effective as the potential romantic interest, inspiring Holmes to try and solve the case without Watson, as well as look in keyholes when he's not supposed to.

He's less successful attempting elementary deduction when he spies a man he takes for a reporter just back from the subcontinent.

"I'm a barrister and I've never been to India in my life," the man answers.

"But you do read the Times."

"Of course."

"Aha!"

You don't need to be an Arthur Conan Doyle fan to enjoy "Without A Clue," though it helps. This is the best kind of parody, no less riotous and cutting from being a work of true love.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite Character and Scene WPP-author
This Film Changed My Life jeffhowardmeade
what about 'arty morti'? adam16184
how about a proper DVD for this movie. Renard-4
Widescreen DVD emailtb-1
An undiscovered jewel denholcroft
Discuss Without a Clue (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?