7.0/10
9,669
77 user 37 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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

The outrageous comedy about the world's greatest detective and his bumbling partner...Sherlock Holmes. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the three-masted barque, featured in the movie, was "Kaskelot", which is from Danish, and translates into English as "sperm whale". The sea-going vessel has appeared in numerous movie and television productions. The big boat is a real life replica of a tall ship, and is one of the largest remaining wooden ships in commission. It was built by J. Ring-Andersen in 1948, and as such, was constructed after the Victorian period featured in the movie. Squaresail.com states that the "Kaskelot" was "originally commissioned by the Royal Greenland Trading Company to supply the remote East Greenland coastal settlements, and subsequently as a fisheries support vessel in the Faroe Islands." See more »

Goofs

When Holmes and the would-be kidnappers are fighting on the stairs several of the balusters can be seen to be swinging free and are not fixed at the bottom. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Lestrade: Half a tick, Mr. Holmes. Ye can't go walkin' into someone's residence, pokin' about their personal possessions, disruptin' their privacy... That's for Scotland Yard.
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings and lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by Mrs Hudson (Pat Keen) at the theatre
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User Reviews

Funny (but not hilarious) spoof of the legend – made twice as good as it should be by the two leads.
16 March 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective to live. Unfortunately he is only a creation of Dr Watson who is the true great detective. Forced to give life to his creation Watson hires actor Reginald Kincaid to play the part in real life. However when the pair are asked to investigate the theft of £5 note printing plates they find themselves up against Moriarty and in greater danger than they expected.

It sounds like a terrible idea – other films that have messed with the Holmes story have not done well – but this comes off quite nicely. The switch of characters is funny in itself and there are plenty of nice jokes and set pieces. The plot itself is full of holes and never grips as a mystery for one minute - but it is more than sufficient to support a comedy spoof. The real enjoyment comes not from the plot however but from another factor.

The two main actors are superb and it's their class that lifts the film well above the material. Caine is excellent and is visibly enjoying himself while Kingsley also looks at ease with his co-star. Support from Jeffrey Jones and Paul Freeman is good, but really the lead duo make the film work so well.

Overall, it is not a good mystery and it is not what you'd call hilarious – but the casting helps raise the bar a bit to create an enjoyable lightweight film.


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Without a Clue 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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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