8.0/10
44,291
167 user 60 critic

Sleuth (1972)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
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 »

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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:

Think of the perfect crime... then go one step further. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around five minutes) The statue of the troglodyte guitarist in the maze of Andrew Wyke's (Sir Laurence Olivier's) house, also appeared in nightclubs, in Play It Cool (1962); and Band Of Thieves (1962); and again in Rudi's Bar in The Human Jungle S1 Episode 6 "A Friend of the Sergeant Major" (1963) See more »

Goofs

(at around 45 mins) When Milo and Andrew have blown the safe and are organizing the fake robbery, the shadows of crew members are visible behind the translucent windows. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Milo Tindle: Andrew... remember... be sure and tell them... it was only a bloody game.
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Connections

Featured in Premio Donostia a Michael Caine (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

You do something to me
Words and music by Cole Porter
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User Reviews

One of the best thrillers ever.
8 October 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Sleuth is based on an outstanding stage play by Anthony Shaffer. Sometimes, a work which succeeded on the stage doesn't transfer well to the big screen. Movies like Equus and Dangerous Corner - which were a delight in theatres - lose their power under the close scrutiny of a film camera. Sleuth is not a failure. It retains its stagebound plot, characters and dialogue, but somehow manages to be totally engrossing as well.

Part of the joy is due to Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The two giants of Britsh acting don't chew the scenery in an attempt to out-shine each other; they complement each other quite brilliantly and turn in two of the finest screen performances you could ever aspire to see. Olivier plays elderly author Andrew Wyke, an obscenely wealthy, well-educated and devious man. Caine is Milo Tindle, a charming, ever-polite young hairdresser. Milo visits Andrew to ask for his blessing in marrying his estranged wife. Although Andrew seems fairly open to the idea of giving away his wife (after all, they despise each other) he still feels stung by her exit, so he engineers a cruel game to humiliate Milo. But who is playing a trick on who?

The dialogue is terrific, but it needed terrific actors to get the best out of it. Caine and Oloivier do a fine job. Ken Adams' set design turns Olivier's gorgeous palatial house into a dazzling mansion of madness. The tinkly music by John Addison creates a playful yet ever-so-slightly uncomfortable mood. Joseph L. Mankiewicz directs perfectly, getting maximum suspense from his staging of scenes and thoughtful choice of camera angles. The twists are superbly disguised, especially the awesome "shock" climax which will blow you away. See Sleuth - it's one of the best!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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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
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