67 user 31 critic

Without a Clue (1988)

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective, Dr. Watson.


Thom Eberhardt

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Reginald Kincaid / Sherlock Holmes
Ben Kingsley ... Dr. Watson
Jeffrey Jones ... Inspector Lestrade
Lysette Anthony ... Leslie Giles
Paul Freeman ... Prof. James Moriarty
Nigel Davenport ... Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen Pat Keen ... Mrs. Hudson
Peter Cook ... Greenhough
Tim Killick Tim Killick ... Sebastian
Matthew Savage Matthew Savage ... Wiggins
John Warner John Warner ... Peter Giles
Matthew Sim ... Real Lesley
Harold Innocent ... Mayor Johnson
George Sweeney ... John Clay
Murray Ewan Murray Ewan ... Archie


This is a Sherlock Holmes story with a difference. Here Dr Watson is the ace detective and has been using an actor to play the part Holmes. Holmes is a drunken actor and gets on Watson's nerves. When Watson tries to go it alone, he doesn't have much success, so he is forced to let Holmes take all the credit once more. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's got his hat, He's got his pipe...but he hasn't got a clue! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,246,772, 23 October 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In real-life, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tired of his Sherlock Holmes character and stories and wanted to kill him off. Similarly, this is the situation in the movie that Dr. John Watson (Sir Ben Kingsley) has. Watson has tired of his Sherlock Holmes character and stories and wants to kill him off. In both fact and fiction, in both scenarios, the writer is forced to retain Holmes and his stories, due to popularity. See more »


Holmes mentions the Loch Ness Monster. While modern enthusiasts have pored through history to find 'evidence', the modern craze and the phrase "Loch Ness Monster" began in the 1930s, well after this film, set in the 1880s. See more »


Mrs. Hudson: [Speaking to Lord Smithwick and Lestrade] This is a respectable Presbyterian house, I assure you.
Holmes: Take no notice of her. The woman drinks a bit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed over still images of Victorian London. The final shot of Holmes and Watson form the backdrop for the end credits. See more »


Referenced in Knots Landing: Without a Clue (1989) See more »


Rock of Ages
Music by Thomas Hastings and lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by Mrs Hudson (Pat Keen) at the theatre
See more »

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User Reviews

This one is a KEEPER!
9 June 2006 | by hughesjimSee all my reviews

This movie is hilarious. If my house burned to the ground and I could save only a handful of items, this is one I'd go back in the house for : ) There are some movies that are so classic and/or funny that you just have to have your own personal copy to watch over and over again, and movies you watch over and over and learn all the lines from. This is one of those movies. Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine make the perfect team in this film. Michael Caine's role as Holmes is so ridiculous but played so deadpan that it's a total crackup. The film is also exceptionally well crafted and directed, to include the sets, costumes, etc. It's a period piece, and every detail is in place. Get this movie on DVD and share it with friends and family.

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