- Actors: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne, John Matthews, Eve Channing
- Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- Writers: Anthony Shaffer
- Producers: David Middlemas, Edgar J. Scherick, Morton Gottlieb
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English, Italian
- Number of tapes: 1
- Run Time: 138 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6304808038
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)
Wicked, nasty, delicious fun. Laurence Olivier is a wealthy, veddy English mystery writer. He invites Michael Caine to his elaborate country house, in order to settle some rather unpleasant business between them: Caine is having an affair with Olivier's wife, and she is about to divorce the older man. Olivier, smooth as brandy, suggests that there might be a way the two men can help each other, but what appears to be an intriguing proposition escalates into a deadly cat-and-mouse game. Sleuth boasts a twisty script by Anthony Shaffer, calculated to drive an audience to distraction; and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve) shows a keen eye for the telling detail. But the real fun is watching Olivier and Caine go at each other hammer and tongs, a virtuoso wrestling match between two splendid actors (both were Oscar-nominated, but lost to Marlon Brando in The Godfather). Alec Cawthorne is also quite good as the inquisitive inspector on the case. --Robert Horton
Top customer reviews
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It's a pleasure to watch these two actors at work (or is it "play"?). I've never enjoyed Mr. Caine more.
It's quite unusual to see a movie with the entire cast comprising just two people! And each of them does a bloody good job of holding our interest till the end.
I would certainly recommend this top-notch tongue-in-cheek murder mystery.
The plot is convoluted, in a good way, and uses dialogue to push the story. Very much like a play, the joy in watching the movie is the two actors squaring off, always trying to one up each other, both in character and most likely as themselves. Michael Caine might have been reported being nervous, but it doesn't show. This might be one of his greatest performances, and this was before his indy boom of the late nineties. This was Caine in his prime, and Olivier winding down his career in a performance only Marlon Brando could have beaten, a la "The Godfather" released the same year.
Joseph L. Mankiewicz's certainly surprises as a director. The legendary director of "All About Eve" shows a bit of flash and art to go with the solid substance of his profession. The segues using the many prop pieces in the main setting is ingenious, and quite honestly, a little unsettling. Watching a horde of puppets seemingly moving on their own, banging and laughing, certainly adds a uniqueness to the picture that stands up with the two major performances.
DVD-wise, it's not Criterion, but the sound is average and the picture is better than it's probably ever been on home video. Not that that has any influence over my decision to purchase this DVD. Nope, this is simply one of my favorite films, a gem that a lot of people don't even know exists. Well, if you like twist and turns, great actors, and a stylish presentation, then this movie is for you.
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Most recent customer reviews
not much remastering !