7.0/10
8,794
70 user 33 critic

Without a Clue (1988)

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

Director:

Thom Eberhardt
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at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

"Watson...there's an evil mastermind on the loose!" . . . . . "...And my dear Holmes, there's an idiot on his trail!". See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,246,772, 23 October 1988

Gross USA:

$8,539,181

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,539,181
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not billed in the credits for characters for this movie, but he did receive a joke apology in the closing titles. See more »

Goofs

When "Holmes" returns home after Watson's apparent death, the shadow of the house number on the inside wall, and other shadows, indicate strong sunlight from a certain angle. He then goes outside and the doorway is not lit that way at all. Also, the width of the panes around the house number doesn't match the shadow. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: As a matter of fact, Lestrade, You can be some help.
Inspector Lestrade: Of course!
Holmes: Hold my coat, it's hot in here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

With apologies to the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson See more »


Soundtracks

Where Did You Get that Hat?
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph J. Sullivan
Performed by Sarah Parr-Byrne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unexpected gem turns Holmesian lore on its head
16 May 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

WITHOUT A CLUE

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Stereo

'Sherlock Holmes' turns out to be a ham actor (Michael Caine), hired by brilliant detective Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley) to play a character whose adventures are dramatized by Watson and published in a popular weekly magazine. But the two men are forced to set aside their differences when Prof. Moriarty (Paul Freeman) hatches a fiendish plot to destabilize the British Empire.

An unexpected gem. Thom Eberhardt's clever revision of Holmesian lore foregoes puns and sight gags for character-based comedy, and a wonderful cast of experienced British thesps plays it with just the right degree of reverence and mockery (Caine and Kingsley, in particular, make a formidable comic team). However, the script - by Gary Murphy and Larry Strawther - is entirely faithful to the spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous creation: Despite Holmes' incompetence and Watson's escalating outrage, the central mystery is genuinely skillful and engrossing, the clues are delightfully outlandish, and the Victorian atmosphere is conveyed with elegant simplicity, thanks to stylish art direction (by Brian Ackland-Snow) and costume design (by Judy Moorcroft). However, the writers aren't afraid to poke gentle fun at the established conventions, particularly Holmes'/Watson's uncanny ability to draw conclusions from even the most obscure scraps of evidence, and the climax manages to combine warm-hearted comedy and genuine thrills during a final showdown with Moriarty in an abandoned theatre. Highly recommended.


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