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Sleuth (1972)

Laurence Olivier , Michael Caine , Joseph L. Mankiewicz  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

Price: $139.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne, John Matthews (II), Margo Channing
  • Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005R24G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sleuth" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Wit, mind-bending plot twists, and a stellar cast headed by Sir Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine put this thriller in a class by itself. A corrosive relationship between two wily rivals threatens to turn deadly. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's directorial swan song, this masterpiece received four Oscar® nominations. 2 hours 15 min.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE NEW & IMPROVED DVD EDITION!!! February 13, 2002
By A Customer
Most of the reviews here refer to the OLD DVD edition (notice they are all from 2000 or before). The edition offered here is NEW, and a vast improvement. Don't let the old reviews prevent you from buying this new DVD.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The viewer can only watch and be enthralled January 18, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The 1972 release, SLEUTH, is one of those movies that one watches, and then exclaims, "Wow!"
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.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New and Improved DVD! February 14, 2002
For those of you who have been disappointed by the version of Sleuth in the white box, take heart and trade up to the black one. The film is widescreen, entirely presented on one side, and the sound is excellent. In addition, the DVD includes an interview with playwright Andrew Shaffer about the conception, original staging and film adaptation of "Sleuth." If you haven't already seen this most brilliant of screen thrillers, please kill yourself now.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making a game out of real murder...and making it fun. January 20, 2004
The idea of a movie with only two actors in it may not sound overly exciting, but when you watch "Sleuth" for the first time, you realize that it couldn't have worked any other way. For many years, "Sleuth" has been one of my favorite movies, and remains so to this day. It is cleverly written and superbly acted by both Michael Caine (my all time favorite actor) and Sir Laurence Olivier.
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).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarification October 8, 2004
By Tryavna
As an earlier reviewers has pointed out, Anchor Bay has released TWO different prints of Sleuth, so you'll want to be careful which release you purchase. The older release had an unsatisfactory transfer that looked very bad. That version was a flipper disc and was packaged with a WHITE cover, and Anchor Bay has wisely let it go out of print. Avoid it! (Unless you collect OOP DVDs....)

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb script and acting all around -- terrific play. Good ending.
Published 2 months ago by Niels Menko
5.0 out of 5 stars I had never seen this movie - a friend recommended it. If you haven't...
I had never seen this movie - a friend recommended it. If you haven't had the experience, I highly recommend it. The acting is incredible - classic!
Published 3 months ago by Terri Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 years on and still GREAT
My second favorite Olivier film.....I love this film...Olivier and Caine were magic together in this film..... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joshua W
5.0 out of 5 stars Why would they ever try to remake such a perfect film?
Here is a movie with three competing, perfectly riveting stars: Olivier; Caine; and the country mansion with a thousand wonders, toys, and delights. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alice4447
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lawrence Jamieson...Meet St. John Lord Merridew, a Dirty Rotten...
Viewed: 1/14
Rate: 10

1/14: Sleuth is a rare two-man show that succeeds largely by its writing and acting together. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. Math Expert
4.0 out of 5 stars Except for the subtitles in another language
We are really enjoying this movie. It was a gift for my mom and she is thrilled. Thank you so much for the prompt service.
Published 9 months ago by Jacqueline Galis
1.0 out of 5 stars Mean movie
This is one mean movie. I gave it away after one viewing. No interest to see it again. So sorry.
Published 10 months ago by Readsalot
1.0 out of 5 stars Broken DVD
The video had no sound. It was a gift for my mother and when she tried to play it there was no sound. I am very disappointed.
Published 11 months ago by Jacqueline Galis
5.0 out of 5 stars great acting
Lots of twists which are all part of the fun, so I won't reveal them here. But the real reason to watch this movie is to see Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Robert Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars deceit, hard feelings, and class contempt - two Englishmen at play
In 1972 SLEUTH treated its audience to a brilliant (and deadly) cat-and-mouse game between Sir Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Read more
Published 17 months ago by H. Bala
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