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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.

Director:

Anthony Harvey

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Justin
Joanne Woodward ... Watson
Jack Gilford ... Peabody
Lester Rawlins Lester Rawlins ... Blevins
Al Lewis ... Messenger
Rue McClanahan ... Daisy
Ron Weyand Ron Weyand ... Dr. Strauss
Oliver Clark ... Mr. Small
Theresa Merritt ... Peggy
Jenny Egan Jenny Egan ... Miss Finch
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ... 2nd Telephone Operator
Michael McGuire ... Telephone Guard
Eugene Roche ... Policeman
James Tolkan ... Mr. Brown
Kitty Winn ... 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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A detektív és a doktor See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The genesis of this film is unusual, as James Goldman's original play, dating from the early-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 1961, directed by Joan Littlewood at her famous Stratford East theater, far away 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

Justin Playfair: Just keep saying to yourself "I'm adequate."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: The human heart can see what is hidden to the eyes, and the heart knows things that the mind does not begin to understand. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical release length of the film was 98 minutes. None of the streaming or DVD versions (save for the US Anchor Bay release) currently available include the full film; the Netflix version runs 91:15 and the Universal DVD on demand runs only 84 minutes. The penultimate scene in the grocery store is missing in these versions. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mighty Jack (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Charmed by George C. Scott
23 September 1999 | by Hunter47See all my reviews

I stumbled across this sleeper on cable years ago. I was familiar with Scott's heavy roles, but was absolutely blown away by his portrayal of a charming, self-convinced character who thought he was Sherlock Holmes. The way his face lit up when he met Joanne Woodward's Dr. Watson was one of my favorite movie "moments" of all time.

I am writing this on learning of his passing. While not his greatest movie, it deserves watching almost as much as Patton, The Hospital, Dr. Strangelove, or 12 Angry Men (& much more than Firestarter), if only to see him in an entirely different type of character.


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