Sleuth

Sleuth

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Cast: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Margo Channing

     
 

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The mystery stage play by Anthony Shaffer was adapted by the author into this stylish film from director Joseph L. Manciewicz. Laurence Olivier stars as Andrew Wyke, a best-selling author of detective fiction living in a grand 16th century mansion. Andrew is visited by Milo Tindle (Michael Caine), owner of a hair salon chain, and reveals to his guest that he's aware

Overview

The mystery stage play by Anthony Shaffer was adapted by the author into this stylish film from director Joseph L. Manciewicz. Laurence Olivier stars as Andrew Wyke, a best-selling author of detective fiction living in a grand 16th century mansion. Andrew is visited by Milo Tindle (Michael Caine), owner of a hair salon chain, and reveals to his guest that he's aware of Milo's affair with his wife Marguerite. Rather than being vengeful, however, Andrew professes he's glad to be rid of his troublesome spouse. To avoid paying heavy alimony, Andrew suggests that Milo disguise himself as a clown and steal his wife's expensive jewelry. That way Marguerite and Milo can obtain financial security while Andrew claims the loss on his insurance and all walk away rich. Andrew's plan is a devious one, however, designed to toy with his wife's lover, and a series of deceptions and counter-deceptions are launched in which nothing is as it seems, unfolding as an elaborate game of comeuppance between the two men. Ten years after Sleuth, Caine would assay a role not unlike Olivier's in the similarly-themed Deathtrap (1982).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1972 masterwork doesn't just have a surprise ending, but a surprise beginning and middle as well. Its corkscrew plot unfolds in a 16th-century English mansion owned by Andrew Wyke, an upper-class mystery writer played by Laurence Olivier. The action focuses on a battle of wits between Wyke and Milo Tindle, a lower-class owner of hair salons played by Michael Caine. When the two confront each other in the mansion over Milo's affair with Wyke's wife, the conflict begins. It's hard to decide what's more entertaining -- the repartee, the black humor, the convoluted plot, or the surprises that pop up like jack-in-the-boxes. Olivier and Caine are superb as devilishly devious opponents in a game of one-upmanship that could turn deadly at any moment. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz pulled off a plot trick of his own to prevent audiences from guessing the outcome of the film: In the cast, he listed the names of fictional actors to fool the audience into thinking that someone would show up at a crucial moment to reverse or further the fortunes of Wyke or Tindle.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2015
UPC:
9344256013027
Original Release:
1972
Source:
Imports
Sales rank:
26,409

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Olivier Andrew Wyke
Michael Caine Milo Tindle
Margo Channing Marguerite
John Matthews Detective Sgt. Tarrant
Alec Cawthorne Inspector Doppler
Teddy Martin Police Constable Higgs

Technical Credits
Joseph L. Mankiewicz Director
Ken Adam Production Designer
John Addison Score Composer
John Furniss Costumes/Costume Designer
Morton Gottlieb Producer
Kip Gowans Asst. Director
John Jarvis Set Decoration/Design
Peter Lamont Art Director
Richard Marden Editor
John W. Mitchell Sound/Sound Designer
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Edgar J. Scherick Executive Producer
Anthony Shaffer Screenwriter
Tom Smith Makeup

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