Sleuth

1972

Mystery / Thriller

20
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89% · 28 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90% · 5K ratings
IMDb Rating 8.0/10 10 50433 50.4K

Top cast

Michael Caine as Milo Tindle
Laurence Olivier as Andrew Wyke
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.19 GB
1280*714
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
2 hr 12 min
Seeds 11
2.21 GB
1920*1072
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
2 hr 12 min
Seeds 28

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by reelreviewsandrecommendations 8 / 10

A classy, intriguing, devilishly good two-hander

One man is a famed mystery novelist, Andrew Wyke, the other is a braggadocios young businessman named Milo Tindle. One day, they meet in the writer's automaton and game filled manor house (that assuredly directly inspired the mansion in 'Knives Out'). They have nothing in common- except for the writer's wife, that is. Tindle is her lover, and both men want her for themselves. The writer has a cunning plan as Machiavellian as some of his plots to ensure the businessman winds up with nothing before the day is out. Tindle, though, has a plan of his own; and a fiendish battle of wits and wills ensues.

Based on Anthony Schaffer's Tony-winning play that originally starred Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter as novelist and businessman respectively, this adaptation features Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine in their places, and is a highlight in the careers of both men. Schaffer's screenplay is full of vicious verbal barbs as Wyke and Tindle have a sparring match full of twists, turns and double-crosses. Their battle of wits becomes a battle of class, and the story is as unpredictable as it is clever.

Olivier's mixed feelings towards his place in cinema is well documented, and often his on-screen performances seem very mannered and actorly- over the top even. As the pompous, old- fashioned Wyke, however, the overly theatrical streak doesn't seem out of place. He is a classist, racist good ol' boy of the English aristocracy, and Olivier plays him brilliantly. In the latter half of his career, he took film roles for the money and was quite open about it. Here, however, you can see he relishes playing Wyke and is having a ball speaking Schaffer's fantastic lines.

Caine- one of the most natural filmic actors the business has ever seen- is terrific as the cocky businessman Tindle. His performance is one of much depth, he plays Tindle like a working-class tinderbox ready to ignite the moment anyone mentions his accent. His disrespect for Wyke clouds his judgement, and he can't see when he's being played by the old man. Whereas Olivier is formal and exact, Caine is like a jazz musician, going this way and that with the rhythm; and his is arguably the better performance.

(As an aside, in 2007, Caine starred as Wyke in Kenneth Branagh's remake, written by Harold Pinter. While the film isn't as good, its interesting to see him play both characters; and in both he overshadows his screen partner).

This could very well be one of- if not the- best adaptations of a play ever put to film. It is beautifully photographed by Oswald Morris, who also shot the screen versions of 'Oliver' and 'Fiddler on the Roof'- he clearly understood how to film theatrical adaptations.

The stirring, John Addison score signifies mystery and intrigue like few other scores have done before or since, and the set design is remarkably detailed and rich. Wyke's manor is so full of memorabilia, knick knacks and automata it makes the Thrombey mansion from the overrated 'Knives Out' look positively sparse.

Terrific performances from two fine actors, crisp cinematography, tight direction from Joseph L Mankiewicz, incredible set design and a brilliant, complex Anthony Schaffer screenplay- what more could you ask for? This two-hander whodunnit is fiendishly good.

Reviewed by dbdumonteil 10 / 10

Joe's puppet theater

The beginning and the end of the movie take place on a stage:a mortal feud between two characters,played by two splendid actors ,directed by one of the giant of American cinema.It's hard to speak of the screenplay without spoiling the suspense,the action-packed story,the surprises waiting for you every step of the way.The two belligerents are diametrically opposite:Sir Olivier plays a local squire,full of disdain and smugness,he's wealthy and claims a noble pedigree.Michael Caine is what the French call "nouveau riche",the most despicable breed of man to his proud opponent :worse,he 's still working,as a posh hair-dresser at that!Both are oozing hatred ,and behind the automatons,we feel the tempers rise .Height of contempt,Olivier disguises Caine as a clown!Anthony Shaffer's tour de force is rendered with gusto and virtuosity.It' s a pity that it was to remain Mankiewicz's last work.

Reviewed by The_Void 9 / 10

One of the best thrillers of all time

Sleuth is, without doubt, one of the finest thrillers ever made. It continually keeps you on the edge of your seat and you never truly know where you are. This is an excellent thing for a thriller to do as it ensures that you will keep watching for that all important next plot development. The plot itself follows a man named Andrew (played by Lawrence Olivier) who is a big fan of playing games. He invites the man that has run off with his wife; Milo (Michael Caine) to his house, and while there, he entices him into a plot to steal his wife's jewels so that he can avoid the taxman, and so that Caine can accommodate his new found girlfriend's overly expensive tastes. To give anything else of the plot away would be running the risk of spoiling what is a fascinating piece of cinema, so I will leave the plot details at that. The plot meanders in a way that is hard to pin down; the film remains ambiguous all the way through; nothing is ever what it seems, and that is what makes Sleuth a cut above many detective mysteries.

This movie stars two super-heavyweights of the British movie industry; Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine. The film requires the two to be on screen for nearly the full duration of the movie, so it is obviously essential that they perform to a high standard; and I can confirm they most certainly do just that. The chemistry between the two is outstanding. The way that the sublime dialogue bounds back and fourth between the two is simply a pleasure to watch; and is more entertaining than a lot of movies that are made simply for entertainment purposes. The two do have a tendency to get a bit dramatic at times, there's is a particular sequence in the cellar that springs to mind immediately on that front; but the over-dramatics add to the atmosphere of the film. The film is very different and over the top in it's style anyway; it plays out almost like a moving detective novel, and the fact that both actors have a tendency to camp it up gives the movie something that it would not have had otherwise. The film is based on a stage play by Anthony Shaffer, and this is evident throughout the movie as it plays out just like a stage play on the big screen. The only film that I can think of that is similar to Sleuth in this way is Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope'. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who also made the classic All About Eve, very astutely directs this film. I would even go as far as to say that the direction here is better than it was in All About Eve; Joseph L. Mankiewicz's use of the camera is amazing and you can tell throughout the film that this is an auteur at the absolute top of his game. Overall, Sleuth is one of the best films ever made. It is amazing just how brilliant a film can be with a miniscule cast and a brilliant script, and if only for that fact alone; Sleuth is a film that you need to see.

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