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Without a Clue

Without a Clue

5.0 4
Director: Thom Eberhardt, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones

Cast: Thom Eberhardt, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones


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According to Without a Clue, master detective Sherlock Holmes was a wholly fictional character. Well, we knew that; what we didn't know was that Holmes was a figment of the imagination of his chronicler, Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley). When Holmes' fame begins to grow, would-be clients besiege Watson's office for chance to consult the Great Detective. In


According to Without a Clue, master detective Sherlock Holmes was a wholly fictional character. Well, we knew that; what we didn't know was that Holmes was a figment of the imagination of his chronicler, Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley). When Holmes' fame begins to grow, would-be clients besiege Watson's office for chance to consult the Great Detective. In desperation, Watson hires a seedy provincial actor (Michael Caine) to pose as Holmes. Trouble is, the preening actor hasn't got a clue -- about anything.

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Filmed at around the same time as Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Without a Clue finds Michael Caine in similarly deceitful form as a second-tier actor hired to portray the fictitious Sherlock Holmes -- a position his employer (Ben Kingsley) discovers is regrettably permanent. This lays the groundwork for a delicious setup in which the true genius (Kingsley's John Watson) must cleverly feed the puppet genius enough information to "solve" the crimes, all while himself playing the humiliating role of doting protégé. In a truly underrated and under-seen performance, Caine proffers enough hilarious circumlocutory reasoning to convince his adoring public that he's a profound detective mastermind. In fact, given his amazing improvisational skills, it's a bit strange that the film takes for granted that he's an untalented hack. Half the time he's half sloshed, and his skirt-chasing barely escapes notice, but because the myth of Holmes is so great, the actor realizes he can have fun with the part without getting fired. This is all much to the chagrin of Watson, who wants his books to remain best-sellers, and needs an untainted Holmes for that to happen. (It's never certain whether we're supposed to believe that Watson is actually Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but that hardly matters.) Caine's refrain "Make a note of that, Watson" develops a gut-busting familiarity, and some of his facial expressions during scenes of interrogation -- deep thoughts to his admirers, desperate wool-gathering to the audience -- make it a riotous performance. The crime that forms the story's backbone is mostly forgettable, but the fact that it allows Caine and Kingsley to interact with such thinly veiled mutual disdain is reason enough to applaud it.

Product Details

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Original Release:
Olive Films
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Caine "Sherlock Holmes"/Reginald Kincaid
Ben Kingsley Dr. Watson
Jeffrey Jones Inspector Lestrade
Lysette Anthony Fake Leslie
Paul Freeman Dr. Moriarty
Nigel Davenport Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen Mrs. Hudson
Peter Cook Greenhough
Tim Killick Sebastian
Mathew Savage Wiggins
Andrew Bradford Dockworker
Prince the Dog Duke
Mathew Sim Real Leslie
John Warner Peter Giles
Harold Innocent Mayor Johnson
George Sweeney John Clay
Murray Ewan Archie
Stephen Tiller Reporter
Michael O'Hagan Reporter
Ivor Roberts Reporter
Martin Pallot Photographer
Gregor Fisher Bobby at Warehouse
Caroline Milmoe Constance
Steven O'Donell Bartender
James Bree Barrister
Sarah Parr-Byrne Singer
Clive Mantle Thug
Dave Cooper Thug
Richard Henry Hadler
Lesley Daine Lady on Train
Jennifer Guy Christabel
John Tordoff Mr. Andrews
Alexandra Spencer Mrs. Andrews
Elizabeth Kelly Landlady
Sam Davies Local
Adam Kotz Local
John Surman Constable at Lakes
Les White Henchman
Chris Webb Henchman
Evan Russell Sergeant at Docks
Alan Bodenham Driver

Technical Credits
Thom Eberhardt Director,Screenwriter
Brian Ackland-Snow Production Designer
Terry Ackland-Snow Art Director,Production Designer
Lois Burwell Makeup
Noel Davis Casting
Nancy Foy Casting
Peter Frampton Makeup
Don French Asst. Director
Martyn Hebert Production Designer
David Hildyard Sound/Sound Designer
Alan Hume Cinematographer
Henry Mancini Score Composer
Judy Moorcraft Costumes/Costume Designer
Ben Moses Associate Producer
Gary Murphy Screenwriter
Peter James Set Decoration/Design
Marc Stirdivant Producer
Larry Strawther Screenwriter
Peter Tanner Editor
Robin Tarsnane Art Director
Tom Brown Art Director
Paul Weston & His Orchestra Stunts
Ian Whittaker Set Decoration/Design
Ian Wingrove Special Effects
Jeremy Zimmerman Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Without a Clue
1. Chapter 1 [13:44]
2. Chapter 2 [13:49]
3. Chapter 3 [18:18]
4. Chapter 4 [13:23]
5. Chapter 5 [:04]
6. Chapter 6 [15:53]
7. Chapter 7 [12:00]
8. Chapter 8 [15:05]
9. Chapter 9 [5:02]


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Without a Clue 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ethan_Coyle More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed the unique angle this movie took to the entire Sherlock Holmes canon. Watching two critically-acclaimed actors immerse themselves into a comedic mystery and deliver with great timing and brilliant writing should put this movie on many people's "to watch" lists. From the opening sequence up to the credits, this movie will greatly enteratin you. Not only do Caine and Kinglsey execute well, but the supporting cast was spot on perfect. Jeffrey Jones as Lastrade was a solid casting pick, and the kids for the Baker Street Irregulars added to the comedic homage to the Holmes universe. I dub this movie Outstanding ... case closed! (making sure Watson does not come out from the woodworks to hit me ... watch the movie and you'll get the reference).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must for anyone who feels the good Doctor deserves more credit then he gets. Combining the long-suffering nature of the original Dr. Watson, the method of Holmes, and Sir Doyle's own annoyance with the legendary consulting detective, and you have the perfect lead for this intelligent spoof of the so-called 'Sacred Text'. Not for the humorless Holmes fan, this movie pokes fun at the British public's infatuation with the detective. Such as it was, that any declaration, no matter how minute (or inaccurate!) he uttered was accepted as obvious sign of his genius. All the while the man who walked beside him could not gain the least modicum of respect, despite his own sharply accurate deductions. Those who worshiped the original Holmes as in infallible deity will take offense at this movie, but those who enjoyed the mystery, the distinctive Victorian style, and the genuine (if sometimes strained) friendship, shall find all these things intact in this mix of subtle and slap-stick comedy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is without a doubt one of the funniest movie's ever made. It's a luagh a minute for the entire movie. You wouldn't think these two actors would be the comedic type but I think that's why it's so funny. Michael Caine's style is just phenominal which makes it so funny. If you want comedy this is the movie to get.