Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • AA
  • Mystery, Thriller
  • 1972
  • 139 mins

Sleuth

Sleuth

Synopsis

Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine star in an Acting World Championship that's also an excellent thriller with more twists than Brands Hatch

About

A hugely enjoyable thriller, adapted by Anthony Shaffer from his own phenomenally successful stage play, about two men involved in an intellectual but deadly game of cat and mouse.

Milo Tindle (Caine) is visiting the estate of Andrew Wyke (Olivier) an upper class detective novelist. Tindle, the son of an Italian immigrant and owner of several hair salons is having an affair with Wyke's wife but rather than be offended, the author invites his young adversary to take part in a criminal scam that would mean he could keep his lover in the manner to which she is accustomed. It is an elaborate game, of course, set up by Wyke, but he more than meets his match in the man he considers to be little more than a "jumped up pantry boy".

All manner of double crossing follows, peppered by an endless array of witty one liners and madcap acting from Laurence Olivier. Sleuth is not without its faults - the endless cuts to Wyke's collection of macabre mannequins become tedious. Caine and Olivier are wonderful together - at the time Caine described his co-star as the world champion of acting but he is more than worthy of equal billing.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier
  • Director: Joseph L Mankiewicz
  • Screen Writer: Anthony Shaffer
  • Producer: Morton Gottlieb
  • Photographer: Oswald Morris
  • Composer: John Addison

In a nutshell

An enjoyable, rich and intelligent film.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Our Kind of Traitor

    Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis and Naomie Harris star in this British spy thriller, adapted from the novel by John le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

  • Film4

    I Killed My Mother

    French Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan stars in his directorial debut, a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama about the bonds between mother and son.

  • Film4

    Ted and Flash Gordon Double Bill on Film4

    Seth MacFarlanes adult comedy followed by the cult sci-fi adventure that acts as a running-joke throughout it.

  • Film4

    This Is 40 on Film4

    (2012) 124 mins 15 Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in writer-director-producer Judd Apatow's relationship comedy-drama, a 'sort of sequel' to his second hit feature, Knocked Up.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Berlin 2016: Hail, Caesar!

    Film4 Site Editor Michael Leader reports on the Berlinale's opening film, written and directed by Joel & Ethan Coen... Since it follows the Coen Brothers' essayistic dive into 1960s Greenwich V

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Channel 4 announces major increase to Film4 funding

    Film4 funding has increased to a record £25m in 2016, with major new deals announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films. Film4 will be backing new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew H

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share