7.0/10
8,734
69 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
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

John Preston is a British Agent with the task of preventing the Russians detonating a nuclear explosion next to an American base in the UK. The Russians are hoping this will shatter the "special relationship" between the two countries.

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Ned Beatty
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Christopher Plummer, James Mason, David Hemmings
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When you think you're at the top of the corporate ladder and then discover they have managed to pull that ladder away, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to "level" the playing ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Egleson
Stars: Michael Caine, Elizabeth McGovern, Peter Riegert
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A war veteran tries to investigate the murder of his son who was working as a Russian translator for the British intelligence service during the Cold War. He meets a web of deception and paranoia that seems to be impenetrable.

Director: Simon Langton
Stars: Michael Caine, James Fox, Nigel Havers
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A black anti-Apartheid activist and a British engineer are forced to run from South African Secret Police.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Nicol Williamson
Deathtrap (1982)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's play.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon
Certificate: GP Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A reluctant hero, American Lieutenant Sam Lawson, is secunded to a motley British unit tasked with destroying a Japanese radio on a Philippine island.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Michael Caine, Cliff Robertson, Ian Bannen
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A British Agent is sent to East Berlin to receive a Communist defector, but the true situation turns out to be rather more complicated.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Michael Caine, Oskar Homolka, Paul Hubschmid
Sole Survivor (1984)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A lone survivor of a plane crash is haunted by a feeling unworthy of survival. Dead people start coming after her to collect her.

Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Anita Skinner, Kurt Johnson, Robin Davidson
Deadfall (1968)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Cat burglar Henry Clarke and his accomplices, the Moreaus, attempt to steal diamonds from the château of millionaire Salinas. However, Henry's partners in crime aren't the most emotionally stable people.

Director: Bryan Forbes
Stars: Michael Caine, Giovanna Ralli, Vladek Sheybal
Edit

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
Edit

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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The pronunciation of Inspector Lestrade's name throughout this movie is, in fact, wrong. The correct pronunciation is "Lest-rahd" not "Lest-rayd" as shown here. See more »

Goofs

Holmes grabs a lamp off of the wall and puts it down by the hole in the floor. A short while later the lamp is back on the wall, but a short while after that it's back on the floor in time for Watson to trip over it. See more »

Quotes

Lord Mayor Gerald Fitzwalter Johnson: Well, Mr. Holmes. Any theories?
Holmes: Obviously, the victim had been caught in a storm too far from shore to swim for it.
Lord Mayor Gerald Fitzwalter Johnson: Yes, and with that heavy suitcase attached to his wrist, and the lake being so deep.
Holmes: Quite. Pulled the poor wretch to the bottom, struggling futilely, flailing desperately as the cold, black water sealed his fate forever Well, it's certainly been a laugh. Thank you.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Elementary, My Dear Holmes
26 May 2005 | by slokesSee all my reviews

"Without A Clue" might be called "Without A Trace," as it sunk upon its 1988 release much like a set of five-pound-note engravings at the bottom of Lake Windemere. Hopefully the new DVD release, albeit pan-and-scan, will give people another chance to catch this terrific send-up of fiction's most celebrated detective.

This is the film that dares reveal Sherlock Holmes is a fraud, an out-of-work actor named Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) pulled out of the gutter by a desperate crime-solving doctor named Watson (Ben Kingsley) who needed to produce someone to play the part of this invention of his. Dr. Watson, you see, didn't want the initial notoriety of his sleuthing successes. He desired admission to a medical college that would frown on such things. Now he wishes he wasn't so successful in playing Kincaid off as Holmes; Kincaid's a drunken womanizing blaggard grown too big for his britches, whining that Watson doesn't treat him at all times with the respect his borrowed robes command.

"I am the one the public really cares about," Kincaid/Holmes sniffs.

"Are we talking of the same man who once declared the late Colonel Howard had been bludgeoned to death by a blunt EXCREMENT?"

"Is it my fault if you have such poor handwriting?"

The lines aren't all polished gems, but they complement a pair of nice comic performances by Caine and Kingsley that keep spirits merry as the game goes afoot.

Also well-done is the understated late Victorian period detail and some strategic nods to the Holmes canon like the presence of Mrs. Hudson the housekeeper and the Baker Street Irregulars, all of whom are in on the Kincaid/Holmes secret. There's choice digs at Holmes' notoriety throughout, like a fellow who gives some meaningless eyewitness testimony to Holmes before a rapt hometown crowd who break into applause when Holmes tells Watson: "Make a note of it." Watson's slow burns here and elsewhere reward repeat viewings.

With Henry Mancini doing the score and director Thom Eberhardt effectively working in a light Ealing tone, this film plays like some great lost Peter Sellers comedy, except Sellers would never share the screen so easily with another as Caine and Kingsley do here. Eberhardt also did good work in another film that went past too many people, "Year Of The Comet;" it's a shame we didn't see more of him.

This would be a classic if the mystery at the heart of the story was more developed, and there are a pair of unnecessary killings that distract momentarily from the light tone. I'm not wild about all the supporting performances, but Jeffrey Jones is a very funny Lestrade as he chases Holmes around an abandoned house on his hands and knees, Watson having told his partner first to do his usual sleuthing routine so Watson himself can root around unobserved. Lysette Anthony is sexy and effective as the potential romantic interest, inspiring Holmes to try and solve the case without Watson, as well as look in keyholes when he's not supposed to.

He's less successful attempting elementary deduction when he spies a man he takes for a reporter just back from the subcontinent.

"I'm a barrister and I've never been to India in my life," the man answers.

"But you do read the Times."

"Of course."

"Aha!"

You don't need to be an Arthur Conan Doyle fan to enjoy "Without A Clue," though it helps. This is the best kind of parody, no less riotous and cutting from being a work of true love.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 69 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed