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Without a Clue (1988)

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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:
...
...
...
...
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

The kidnapped "daughter", although missing for days if not weeks, did not grow a beard. He was so clean shaven as to fool Lastrade into believing he was a woman. The kidnapped father also didn't grow a beard. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: I'm reminded of the curious case of the Manchurian Mambo...
Watson: Holmes, could I have a word?
Holmes: Yes, what is it?
Watson: I believe that was the Manchurian Mamba.
Holmes: Mambo, mamba. What's the difference?
Watson: Well, very little, except that one is a deadly, poisonous snake, while the other is a rather festive Carribean dance.
Holmes: It was a night like any other, when suddenly a knock came at the door. I opened it, and there were these Manchurians, doing a rather festive Carribean dance...
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 »

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User Reviews

 
Unexpected gem turns Holmesian lore on its head
16 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

WITHOUT A CLUE

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Stereo

'Sherlock Holmes' turns out to be a ham actor (Michael Caine), hired by brilliant detective Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley) to play a character whose adventures are dramatized by Watson and published in a popular weekly magazine. But the two men are forced to set aside their differences when Prof. Moriarty (Paul Freeman) hatches a fiendish plot to destabilize the British Empire.

An unexpected gem. Thom Eberhardt's clever revision of Holmesian lore foregoes puns and sight gags for character-based comedy, and a wonderful cast of experienced British thesps plays it with just the right degree of reverence and mockery (Caine and Kingsley, in particular, make a formidable comic team). However, the script - by Gary Murphy and Larry Strawther - is entirely faithful to the spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation: Despite Holmes' incompetence and Watson's escalating outrage, the central mystery is genuinely skillful and engrossing, the clues are delightfully outlandish, and the Victorian atmosphere is conveyed with elegant simplicity, thanks to stylish art direction (by Brian Ackland-Snow) and costume design (by Judy Moorcroft). However, the writers aren't afraid to poke gentle fun at the established conventions, particularly Holmes'/Watson's uncanny ability to draw conclusions from even the most obscure scraps of evidence, and the climax manages to combine warm-hearted comedy and genuine thrills during a final showdown with Moriarty in an abandoned theatre. Highly recommended.


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