8.0/10
41,586
155 user 53 critic

Sleuth (1972)

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

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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)
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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 »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

15 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juego mortal See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Michael Caine was the third choice for the part of Milo Tindle, after Albert Finney (who was deemed too plump), and Sir Alan Bates (who turned down the role). See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Andrew Wyke: Finally, at your moment of dying, you are yourself - a sniveling, dago clown. Farewell, Punchinello!
Milo Tindle: Please!
Andrew Wyke: [fires the gun]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Game of Cat and Mouse: Behind the Scenes of Sleuth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Just one of these things
Words and music by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The ultimate "thinking persons" movie.
15 July 2002 | by uds3See all my reviews

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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