May 22nd, 2014: Sleuth (1972)


Cast and Crew: Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Director); Anthony Shaffer (Play and Screenplay)

What it’s About: Detective novelist Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier) invites his wife’s lover, hairdresser Milo Tindle (Michael Caine) to his mansion.  Wyke loves games and puzzles, and beings to play one with Milo…but is he the only one playing?

Why Watch it Today: Sir Laurence Olivier was born on this date in 1907.  Sleuth is a great late period film for Olivier, where he and Caine deliver powerhouse performances, each playing off the other during the story’s many shifts of advantage and plot twists, during which English class and generational warfare is waged.  The less you know about it going in, the better.

Other Choices:  Laurence Olivier plays a man bewitched by his first wife in Rebecca; a Jewish Nazi hunter who uncovers a sinister plot in The Boys from Brazil; and was part of large ensemble casts in The Battle of Britain, A Bridge Too Far and Clash of the Titans.

3 comments on “May 22nd, 2014: Sleuth (1972)

  1. geelw says:

    I haven’t seen this in a while, but yeah, not spoiling this one by reading up on it makes it really fun to watch.

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I somehow avoided spoilers all these years and randomly caught it-just post credit sequence-on TV this year. Really kept us going!

      • geelw says:

        I’ve always found that’s a cool way to discover a new film. Er, unless it just starts off with NO main titles at the very beginning like a few films I can think of that begin with extended pre-credit sequences (or are like RoboCop and have NO credits until the end!)…

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