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
The original stage production of "Sleuth" by Anthony Shaffer opened on Broadway on November 12, 1970. It originally starred Sir Anthony Quayle as Andrew, and Keith Baxter as Milo, ran for one thousand two hundred twenty-two performances, and won the 1971 Tony Award for the Best Play. See more »
(at around 1h 2 mins) When Wyke "shoots" Tindle in the head at contact range with what is supposed to be a blank cartridge, Tindle simply faints from fright. In fact, the hot gases, explosive particles, wadding and minuscule barrel debris from a blank-cartridge shot to the head at point-blank range would certainly have given Tindle quite a serious wound, possibly even a fatal one. See more »
There it is! The original blunt instrument; the poker. Right!
Where do you want it?
Don't get carried away. It's not a murder weapon you're talking about you know!
No. We're discussing an object from which I receive in the classic formula a glancing blow which will raise a lump without actually cracking the cranium.
Why don't I just keep tapping you lightly on the head with the poker until a lump comes up?
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When Britain does it right....no one can come close to it! This was just such a movie. A filmed version of Anthony Shaffer's own wonderful stage play, the brilliance needed to sustain 138 minutes attention between just two people in three or four rooms of a single house - should not be underestimated. Olivier is in his element as the upper crust land-owner who invites Alfie-esque hairdresser Caine to his mansion, simply to acknowledge his wife's infidelity with him and to inform Caine that he is messing with the wrong guy.
The dialog driven plot is probably beyond the grasp of most younger viewers, but is a veritable revelation for those seeking to be entertained on a grand scale. As important a player as anyone else, the house itself and its many wondrous artifacts are simply stunning. How the tables are turned and the roles reversed? Without doubt, one of the greatest films ever made.
As for Alex Cawthorne's stunning performance as Inspector Doppler, what can I say? Its almost as is he wasn't there!
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