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Sleuth (1972)

A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Writers:

Anthony Shaffer (play), Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Laurence Olivier ... Andrew Wyke
Michael Caine ... Milo Tindle
Alec Cawthorne Alec Cawthorne ... Inspector Doppler (credit only)
John Matthews John Matthews ... Detective Sergeant Tarrant (credit only)
Eve Channing Eve Channing ... Marguerite Wyke (credit only)
Teddy Martin Teddy Martin ... Police Constable Higgs (credit only)
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Storyline

Andrew Wyke is a famous and successful author of detective novels. Milo Tindle comes to him with a strange request, that Mr Wyke divorce his wife so that Tindle can marry her. Mr Wyke is not particularly perturbed by this, he and his wife have drifted apart, and he is having an affair with another woman anyway, but uses the meeting and Mr Tindle's request as a chance to play a game, a game with potentially deadly consequences. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If it was murder, where's the body? [original movie poster] See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

11 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Juego mortal See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Edgar Allan Poe award on Andrew Wyke's (Sir Laurence Olivier's) mantel was the one given to Anthony Shaffer for his play "Sleuth". Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz also won an Edgar for 5 Fingers (1952). See more »

Goofs

(at around 45 mins) When Milo and Andrew have blown the safe and are organizing the fake robbery, the shadows of crew members are visible behind the translucent windows. See more »

Quotes

Milo Tindle: We are from different worlds, you and me, Andrew. In mine, there was no time for bright fancies and happy inventions, no stopping for tea. The only game we played was to survive, or go to the wall. If you didn't win, you just didn't finish. Loser, lose all. You probably don't understand that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brando Unauthorized (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Just one of these things
Words and music by Cole Porter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic mystery with dynamite performances by Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine
10 October 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

A very entertaining "thriller" about a wealthy mystery novelist named Andrew Wyke (Olivier), who invites Milo Tindle (Caine) - working-class owner of a chain of hair salons - to his sixteenth-century mansion to discuss Milo's affair with Wyke's wife. Instead of being angry, he seems to be delighted and proposes an ingenious robbery scheme that will benefit both men. Soon, the two men find themselves locked in an ingenious and devious duel, but who gets the last laugh on whom?

With the right ingredients film-making can seem so easy. The cast consists of just two actors, Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, but with these heavyweights, it's hard to go wrong. Playwright Anthony Shaffer (FRENZY, THE WICKER MAN) wrote a brilliantly ingenious script with crackling dialog, and veteran director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, ALL ABOUT EVE), who knows all the cinematic tricks and has an uncanny aye for detail, manages to avoid this "play" from becoming static in any way. It was to be his last film, and what a grand way to say goodbye to cinema. A real treat from start to finish. Highly recommended!

Camera Obscura --- 10/10


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