66 user 31 critic

Without a Clue (1988)

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



On Disc

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Reginald Kincaid / Sherlock Holmes
... Dr. Watson
... Inspector Lestrade
... Leslie Giles
... Prof. James Moriarty
... Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen ... Mrs. Hudson
... Greenhough
Tim Killick ... Sebastian
Matthew Savage ... Wiggins
John Warner ... Peter Giles
... Real Lesley
... Mayor Johnson
George Sweeney ... John Clay
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 | Add Synopsis


Behind every great detective is one even greater. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 film 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 film. The 'Square Sail' website 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 »


Despite using a passable English accent, the ticket master who sells Watson the tickets for the return trip to London from Lake Windermere enunciates the word 'class' in first class the American way 'classs'. A true Brit would announce it (phonetically) as 'first clarse'. The pronunciation of class depends on the accent of the Brit, any Brit born north of approximately Northampton would pronounce class as an American, does, southern English speakers would say "clarse" See more »


Holmes: The Shadow of Death. The gripping drama was the last play presented at the Orpheum. It closed after only one night, but not without garnering some praise. Harris in the Daily Telegram said, 'In an otherwise dismal evening, Reginald Kincaid provided some welcome laughs.'
Wiggins: You said it was a gripping drama!
Holmes: It's unimportant now, isn't it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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


Where Did You Get that Hat?
Written by Joseph J. Sullivan
Performed by Sarah Parr-Byrne
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User Reviews

Something quite wonderful...
4 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

A much overlooked film of comic perfection, Without a Clue is a hidden gem of a movie that shows beyond doubt the true talents of its main actors, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley.

While not the funniest movie of all time, it is in its entirety both heart-warmingly humorous and adorable in its simplicity. The relationship between The two main characters is stunningly portrayed, and the gentle humour throughout is speckled with enough laugh out loud moments, touching character interactions and great supporting roles, as to leave the viewer with nothing but love for the movie and it's stars.

Both Caine and Kingsley are great actors, but in pairing the two together, this movie shows their skill in a completely new light. The comic timing is flawless, and while neither men have had too much experience of comedy, you would never know it from their portrayal of the bumbling Sherlock Holmes and the genius Dr.Watson in this turnabout story of the traditional sleuthing pair.

Where so many other movies have failed to put a worthy spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legacy, the chemistry of it's actors and the sharp but not too wieldy script, make this a must see for any fan of Sherlock Holmes, or any student of comedy.

This movie is living proof that funny doesn't have to slap you in the face in order to grab your attention, and where many other films deemed as comedy classics may find their place in the your memory, this one will find a place in your heart.

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