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They Might Be Giants (1971)

In a Manhattan psychiatric hospital a man, convinced he is Sherlock Holmes, is treated by a female doctor who happens to be named Watson.

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(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Justin
... Watson
... Peabody
Lester Rawlins ... Blevins
... Messenger
... Daisy
Ron Weyand ... Dr. Strauss
... Mr. Small
... Peggy
Jenny Egan ... Miss Finch
Jane Hoffman ... 2nd Telephone Operator
... Telephone Guard
... Policeman
... Mr. Brown
... Grace
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Storyline

They Might be Giants chronicles the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern-day New York City. The fact that Sherlock Holmes is a psychotic paranoid and Dr. Watson is a female psychiatrist fascinated by his case is almost beside the point. Dr. Watson follows Holmes across Manhattan and is, against her better judgment, drawn into the master detective's world of intrigue and danger. This is a sweet, goofy and fairly romantic film that asks the questions "Whose reality is right...and does it really matter?" Written by John Gerrath <jagerrat@uoguelph.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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When they reach out for each other... they touch every heart... with warmth, charm and laughter!


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A detektív és a doktor  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The genesis of this film is unusual, as James Goldman's original play, dating from the mid-60s, had never been produced anywhere in the United States by the time the film was made. Goldman had reworked it several times, and there had been a short-run production of it in London in 1966, directed by Joan Littlewood at her famous Stratford East theater, far way from the West End. Harry H. Corbett had played the lead. Goldman was still dissatisfied, but, after the great success in 1968 of the film version of his subsequent play "The Lion In Winter", he and its director Anthony Harvey found themselves being lauded in Hollywood and asked if they might have any ideas for a future collaboration. Goldman had another go at revising his play as a film script, now setting it in New York streets and creating many new characters. The film was not a success, although it has become a cult favorite. See more »

Goofs

When Scott and Woodward are riding in a taxi, from his angle the cab is stopped; from her angle the cab is moving. See more »

Quotes

Maud: God bless ya, Barbara Stanwyck!
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Jehovah has the Devil, Achilles has his Heel, Mohammed has his Mountain, Don Quixote has his Windmills; and SHERLOCK HOLMES, God bless him, has his MORIARTY"
  • from Watson's Journal
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Connections

Followed by The Return of the World's Greatest Detective (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Before there was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest...
25 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

In 1976, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST(1975) was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, winning 5 in all the major categories. But 5 years earlier, another film tackled mental illness (all be it in a different manner) in it's own unique way. This film was THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS(1971). Now many would argue that Cuckoo's Nest was a superior film, and they would probably be right. They Might Be Giants was shot on a miniscule budget, and was cut down for release by studio exec's. In a further insult, the same studio exec's refused to support the Director's bid for a wide release. It's a shame too, because it featured one of the most overlooked comic performances in film history. George C.Scott plays Justin Playfair, a retired judge who thinks he's Sherlock Holmes. And he does it perfectly. Right down to the subtle gestures and mannerisms. In one of films best scenes, Playfair arrives in a local Mental Institution for an evaluation. A struggle breaks out with the patient before him (a mute, who refuses to reveal even his name) and it's up to Holmes to save the day. And Save the day he does. The Dialogue in this scene is brilliant. Some of the best I've ever heard. And it's all Scott. Not only does he get the man to talk, he guesses his name! The supporting cast is excellent as well. Joanne Woodward is the perfect foil as Dr Watson, Jack Gilford as Wilbur Peabody, and the rest of the New York actors are real, and delightfully eccentric. The end of the film with the "March to find Moriarty" is a classic. Listen to the music in this scene, it's great! So if you liked Cuckoo's nest, check this one out...you won't regret it!!


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