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Sleuth [DVD] 
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This celebrated thriller stars Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine as a pair of scheming socialites who play elaborate psychological games against each other, with ever-deadlier consequences. Andrew Wyke (Olivier) invites his wife's lover, former hairdresser Milo Tindle (Caine), to his country home. He has a proposal for Tindle which could benefit them both, but not everything is as clear cut as it might seem...
Adapted by Anthony Shaffer from his own hit stage play, Sleuth (1972) is a reflexively self-aware send-up of the murder-mystery genre, which risks everything on the tour de force performances of its small cast. Director Joseph L Mankiewicz doesn't attempt to escape the theatrical confines of Shaffer's clever and convoluted screenplay; instead he concentrates--or diverts?--our attention with close-up details of the setting. Is he showing us clues or just more red herrings?
Like Agatha Christie's Mousetrap--which it rivalled in popularity on the West End stage--to say anything more about Sleuth would be to spoil the fun. But even when you've untangled the many and dizzying twists and turns, thanks to its literate screenplay and the magnetic performances of the leads this is a film that rewards repeated viewings. --Mark Walker
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Top Customer Reviews
If you like cat and mouse games, you'll love this film. Not only do the two main characters constantly play mind games with each other, the film plays mind games with its audience, who can never really be sure exactly what's fact, and what's fiction.
A real pleasure to watch repeatedly.
If you're thinking of buying this fantastic film then get the Anchor Bay release, the one with the magnifying glasses on the front cover.
Isn't it about time this film was given the full-blown Blu-Ray treatment it deserves?
As soon as I got the package, the DVD was played and relived all the excitement and suspense as if I was seeing it for the first time.
The idea was so well concieved and executed. I wonder why it did not get any academy awards, though it was recommended for certain categories.
'Sleuth' has to be one of the single best examples on the murder/mistery genre, with its multiple twists and turns, while it's also satirizing it. It's also about the bitter class war typical of British society, particularly at that time, and a wonderful character study. Both Olivier and Caine are fantastic in their performances, the direction by Joseph L. Mankiewicz is subtle but razor sharp, and Shaffer did a marvelous job adapting his own play for this film.
This old 2002 edition from Anchor Bay UK, now sadly out of print, does a great job of putting together background material on the film. Thus, it includes film notes, photo galleries, a trailer and, of special notice, a loving featurette with the late Anthony Shaffer reminiscing about the origins of the play, its long and successful run both in England and in the US, plus the making of the film adaptation.
In sum, this is a DVD that does justice to the superior overall quality of 'Sleuth', which again I feel is just waiting to be re-discovered by newer generations of movie buffs and general viewing audiences alike.
Without spoiling anything, I'll just say that it owes a lot to how well the leads play off each other, and how the plot has plenty of great little twists and turns.
As I said before, this movie is considered a classic. After watching it, I can say that status is definitely well deserved... this one really had me hooked.
Michael Caine plays Milo Tindle, a lowborn, cheeky hairdresser called down from London to visit Andrew Wyke on his rambling country estate. Andrew, played by Sir Laurence Olivier, is a class conscious, game-addicted, petty snob who writes award-winning detective stories. Milo also happens to be having an affair with Andrew's wife, Marguerite. On the other hand, Andrew is currently dallying with a local masseuse, Téa. Both men have cash flow problems. Milo hasn't enough to keep Marguerite in the lifestyle to which she's become accustomed, and Andrew has been beggared by ruinous British taxes. So, Andrew, being a self-proclaimed expert on crime whose literary detective creation, Lord Merrydew, always manages to make the official constabulary look like fools, invites Milo to join him in a mutually lucrative scam. The Plan: a suitably costumed Milo will "burgle" jewelry from Andrew's safe, fence it for an enormous sum, and be free to marry Marguerite, while Andrew happily collects the insurance money and enjoys his Siren of the moment. Andrew is not completely happy about his wife's adultery, but, after all, true gentleman can come to some convenient arrangement. Quite right!
Thus begins an intricate series of role-within-role-playing games played magnificently by these two phenomenal English actors. From the viewers' perspective, the challenge is to determine when the make-believe ends and real life reasserts itself. Thus, not only is SLEUTH an absorbing mystery story, but the roles within roles also create a resounding paean to the profession of acting. After SLEUTH, I don't think it was quite so cleverly done until 1997's FACE-OFF.
Both Caine and Olivier were nominated for Best Actor Oscars for their performances in this film. Sadly, neither won. In despite of that appalling injustice, this is one of those films that I can watch over and over again, and never fail to be delighted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Film adaption of the stage play, starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, it's a two-handed movie, set almost entirely inside a country house. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chunky Monkey
As everyone else has said, far better than the remake, to the point where you really have to wonder what everyone involved in financing and making the 2009 version thought was the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mike Brecher
Excellent transaction ,item as described, quick delivery. Thank you.Published 3 months ago by john c.
The film is a masterpiece. But it's necessary to know tha it's not true that the dvd has italian language. The information on Amazon is not correct. Read morePublished 11 months ago by spectator
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