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Top Customer Reviews
Michael Caine plays Milo Tindle, a lowborn, cheeky hairdresser called down from London to visit Andrew Wyke on his rambling country estate. Andrew, played by Sir Laurence Olivier, is a class conscious, game-addicted, petty snob who writes award-winning detective stories. Milo also happens to be having an affair with Andrew's wife, Marguerite. On the other hand, Andrew is currently dallying with a local masseuse, Téa. Both men have cash flow problems. Milo hasn't enough to keep Marguerite in the lifestyle to which she's become accustomed, and Andrew has been beggared by ruinous British taxes. So, Andrew, being a self-proclaimed expert on crime whose literary detective creation, Lord Merrydew, always manages to make the official constabulary look like fools, invites Milo to join him in a mutually lucrative scam. The Plan: a suitably costumed Milo will "burgle" jewelry from Andrew's safe, fence it for an enormous sum, and be free to marry Marguerite, while Andrew happily collects the insurance money and enjoys his Siren of the moment. Andrew is not completely happy about his wife's adultery, but, after all, true gentleman can come to some convenient arrangement. Quite right!
Thus begins an intricate series of role-within-role-playing games played magnificently by these two phenomenal English actors. From the viewers' perspective, the challenge is to determine when the make-believe ends and real life reasserts itself. Thus, not only is SLEUTH an absorbing mystery story, but the roles within roles also create a resounding paean to the profession of acting. After SLEUTH, I don't think it was quite so cleverly done until 1997's FACE-OFF.Read more ›
The tag line "Think of the perfect crime...then go one step further" describes exactly what the movie is all about. Olivier plays Andrew Wyke, an eccentric and revered mystery writer invites Milo Tindle (Caine) over to his mansion over a weekend in order to discuss the terms of his affair with his wife. Wyke is known as a lover of toys, games, and deviously cunning games of trickery that he plays on people. Wyke has known for some time that Tindle has been having an affair with his wife, and that he intends to marry her. Wyke sees an opportunity to unload his wife, without the possibility of her coming back and getting deeper into his pocketbook. Knowing him to be broke, Wyke proposes to Tindle a robbery scheme that will solve both of their problems. Things got a bit awry. What happens next would be criminal to give away, but it is one of the most brilliantly crafted farces I have ever seen in a movie.
"Sleuth" was adapted from the stage play by Anthony Shaffer, and it plays out very much like the play itself. There is one setting, two actors, and lots of dialogue. It works very well, because it wasn't overdone in production. I cannot see how this could have worked with a more elaborate setting or cast. What carries the movie are the performances by Caine and Olivier, which ranks among their personal best (and picking ones from such distinguished careers is hard).Read more ›
The newer release has a BLACK cover and boasts a much improved transfer. (Just compare the vibrancy of the colors in the film to the muted colors in the unrestored trailers to see what I mean.) In addition to putting the whole film on one side of the disc, Anchor Bay also included an extensive and fairly interesting interview with writer Anthony Shaffer. This version is probably definitive -- and certainly the one to buy.
Apparently, however, Anchor Bay is going to let this release go out of print, too. (It has disappeared from their online catalogue.) So buy this quickly if you have any interest in it at all. I can't imagine any other company giving this film a better overall treatment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This wonderful and truly classic "whodunit" from Anthony Shaffer sets the bar high and early for fans of both Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lance Hogle
Never get tired of this movie. Familiarity with the plot doesn't seem to detract from the enjoyment of watching the nuanced performances of these incredibly talented actors... Read morePublished 2 months ago by B. J. Ford
"It's a real game and a real murder." ~ Milo Tindle (Michael Caine)
This movie came out the same year I was born. Read more
Waited so long for this film to come out on DVD. Only ever saw this film once and loved it...finally get to watch it whenever I want now...Published 5 months ago by tatdude
Great movie for all! Be sure you do not get the re-make without Olivier.Published 6 months ago by Seaside Designer
Always one of my favorites. If you like a lot of twists and turns and some great laughs, this is it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Custer's Choice
A great moment in time -- there are things that don't resonate the same way now as they did in the early seventies (which is really what most people call the sixties, IMHO) -- but... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mr. Hawlywood