8.0/10
43,649
160 user 60 critic

Sleuth (1972)

Clip
5:32 | Clip
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Writers:

Anthony Shaffer (play), Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laurence Olivier ... Andrew Wyke
Michael Caine ... Milo Tindle
Alec Cawthorne Alec Cawthorne ... Inspector Doppler (credit only)
John Matthews John Matthews ... Detective Sergeant Tarrant (credit only)
Eve Channing Eve Channing ... Marguerite Wyke (credit only)
Teddy Martin Teddy Martin ... Police Constable Higgs (credit only)
Learn more

More Like This 

Sleuth (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On his sprawling country estate, an aging writer matches wits with the struggling actor who has stolen his wife's heart.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Michael Caine, Jude Law, Harold Pinter
Deathtrap (1982)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's play.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as Kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her wealthy husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Benjamin, James Coburn, James Mason
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use their young houseguests to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other over the course of a distressing night.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

Director: Robert Moore
Stars: Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers
Get Carter (1971)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

Director: Mike Hodges
Stars: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
The Hustler (1961)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A distant poor relative of the Duke of D'Ascoyne plots to inherit the title by murdering the eight other heirs who stand ahead of him in the line of succession.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Dennis Price, Alec Guinness, Valerie Hobson
Edit

Storyline

Andrew Wyke is a famous and successful author of detective novels. Milo Tindle comes to him with a strange request, that Mr Wyke divorce his wife so that Tindle can marry her. Mr Wyke is not particularly perturbed by this, he and his wife have drifted apart, and he is having an affair with another woman anyway, but uses the meeting and Mr Tindle's request as a chance to play a game, a game with potentially deadly consequences. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If it was murder, where's the body? [original movie poster] See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joanne Woodward's likeness was used for the painting of Marguerite Wyke. See more »

Goofs

(at around 18 mins) While Wyke is clearing the colours in the snooker game, he jumps from blue directly to black, even though the pink is on the table (in a previous shot), and in potting order comes between blue and black. Then, when the black is potted, the pink is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Wyke: Milo, baby, lemme handle this one, eh? Crime's my baaag. I got this caper worked out ta the last detail!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Story of 'Frenzy' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Anything goes
Words and music by Cole Porter
See more »

User Reviews

A supporting cast to die for
12 April 2003 | by jackmunroSee all my reviews

To me, "Sleuth" is a demonstration of the problem with the Oscars (certainly a problem in 1972, and perhaps now also). The problem was that, even before the casting was done for the film of Mario Puzo's "The Godfather," everyone knew that whoever played the leading role was going to receive the Best Actor Oscar, irrespective of the performance. To rate Brando's performance above the performances of Caine and Olivier that year is nothing short of ludicrous. All I can say is thank God that at least Joel Grey received the best support Oscar for "Cabaret" that year.

I first saw Anthony Schaffer's play on the London stage about two years prior to the release of the movie. The leading roles were taken by Paul Rogers and Donal Donnelly, two fine English actors who were superb in these parts. I remember thinking what a difficult thing it would be to make a film of this, but I was sure that someone would try it and make a mess of it. How wrong I was!

I note that "Sleuth" comes up as #250 in the IMDB top 250. I recently selected my top 100 and it comes up at #55. This is a magnificent movie that keeps one on the edge of the seat for its entire length. The performances of the two leads as they play the same game a number of times is stunning. Here is the man acknowledged as perhaps the greatest actor of the 20th century, and here is the Cockney up-start Caine (famous for his "kitchen-sink" roles such as in "Alfie") matching him at every turn and often soaring above him.

But in saying all this, I need to put in a plug for perhaps the finest supporting performances ever delivered. Alec Cawthorne, a man few have heard of outside "Sleuth," is mesmerising as Doppler, while John Matthews and Eve Channing, although having very minor parts, imbue every nuance of their performances with ethereal splendour.


142 of 197 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 160 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

11 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleuth See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,081,254
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed