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  • AA
  • Mystery, Thriller
  • 1972
  • 139 mins




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


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: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine
  • 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.

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