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Without A Clue [DVD]


Price: £4.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
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£4.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones, Lysette Anthony, Paul Freeman
  • Directors: Thom Eberhardt
  • Writers: Gary Murphy, Larry Strawther
  • Producers: Ben Moses, Diana Buckhantz, Marc Stirdivant
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Dec. 2001
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RY7J
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,904 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Victorian society thrills to the crime-solving adventures of the great Sherlock Holmes, unaware that he is in fact a fictional character created by the real sleuth - Dr Watson (Ben Kingsley) - as a cover for his own detecting abilities. When Scotland Yard request that Holmes help them with their latest, baffling case, Watson is forced to provide him, in the form of weak, drunken actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine).

From Amazon.co.uk

The basic joke of the would-be romp Without a Clue is that Dr Watson (Ben Kingsley) is a detecting genius who has had to hide his light under a bushel by hiring an alcoholic ham actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) to pose as his imaginary alter ego Sherlock Holmes. He is now frustrated because the blundering idiot is hailed as an infallible hero while he is forever being pushed out of the picture. To really work, the film should have cast a leading man who gives the impression that he might make a good serious Holmes, but Caine is all too credible in his idiot act. In one of the best jokes Watson covers up a faux pas by complementing Holmes on his convincing disguise as a drunken lout, and so the laughs that should come in a flow only manage to trickle.

The actual plot is about forged bank-notes ruining the Empire but is constructed to allow for the usual excursion by picturesque steam train to a clue-ridden holiday destination and some dirty deeds down by the docks. The leads coast through their routines but the supporting cast has an appropriately rat-like and embittered Inspector Lestrade from Jeffrey Jones, a winsomely duplicitous Victorian heroine from Lysette Anthony and a rather good goateed sadist Professor Moriarty from Paul Freeman. It can't hold a magnifying glass to Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, but as a Holmesian footnote it edges a deerstalker or so ahead of Gene Wilder's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother. It certainly beats the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore Hound of the Baskervilles and John Cleese in The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know It.--Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Libretio VINE VOICE on 8 April 2003
Format: DVD
WITHOUT A CLUE
(UK - 1988)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Stereo

'Sherlock Holmes' turns out to be a ham actor (Michael Caine), hired by brilliant detective Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley) to play a character whose adventures are dramatised by Watson and published in a popular weekly magazine. But the two men are forced to set aside their differences when Prof. Moriarty (Paul Freeman) hatches a fiendish plot to destabilise the British Empire...

An unexpected gem. Thom Eberhardt's clever reworking of the mythology surrounding Holmes and Watson relies for the most part on character-based comedy rather than puns and sight-gags, and a wonderful cast of experienced British thesps plays it with just the right amount of reverence and mockery (Caine and Kingsley, in particular, make a formidable comic team). However, the script - by Gary Murphy and Larry Strawther - is entirely faithful to the spirit of Conan Doyle's most famous creation: Despite Holmes' incompetence and Watson's escalating outrage, the central mystery is genuinely skilful and engrossing, the clues are delightfully outlandish, and the Victorian atmosphere is conveyed with elegant simplicity, thanks to stylish art direction (by Brian Ackland-Snow) and costume design (by Judy Moorcroft).

However, the writers aren't afraid to poke gentle fun at the established conventions, particularly Holmes'/Watson's uncanny ability to draw conclusions from even the most obscure scraps of evidence, and the climax manages to combine warm-hearted comedy and genuine thrills during a final showdown with Moriarty in an abandoned theatre. Sadly, the movie failed to make a splash at the UK/US box-office when released in 1988, but it deserves more than a second chance on DVD. Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Feb. 2002
Format: DVD
This is such an under rated film. It boasts a great comic performance from Caine and a clever and witty script. I've loved this film for years and I'm happy to see it availible on dvd. The story tells us that Sherlock Holmes was just an actor hired by Watson who was really the one who solved the cases.
Every scene is hilarious in which everyone concerned seems oblivious to the truth and interprets Holmes idiosyncrasy as eccentric genius. There are no fancy extra's on this disc, but the film is in widescreen and the transfer is reasonably good. The sound is in two speaker stereo and seems to be quite clear. This is the kind of movie which can stand on it's own two feet without an abundance of extra features you'll probably only watch once.
Overall I wasn't disapointed with this dvd. The film rocks and the price is good.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Swiss expat on 6 May 2004
Format: DVD
Simply put ~ hilarious! Micheal Caine is great as a drunken incompetent theatrical actor who is hired by Watson (great plot line ~ huh!) to play Sherlock to make his writing come alive and save his flagging career.... the result is someone who knows nothing about sleuthing, but lots about how to drink and get himself into tricky situations and even a hilarious scene with a dog! The usual Holmes characters appear (i.e. bungling policemen and villanous Moriarty) and it brings a level of light relief to all the other Holmes films we have seen on our screens. In my view streets ahead of them all.
If you like Caine then you will love this movie, it has some lines in it which you will quote in conversation for years to come, delivered in normal "Caine cockney full volume"! Watson played by Kingsley is the straight man in the comic duo, and the partnership works well.
BUY IT - you won't be disappointed! Great for Holmes fans, and great for comedy fans... a winner for the family!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "poiple-films" on 28 April 2004
Format: DVD
tears streaming down my face as i barely contain myself, laugh out loudfunny. Caine is superb as is kingsley, i am only sorry i only saw thisfilm for the first time a few weeks ago! Please add this film to yourcollection, some truly pricelessly hilarious moments.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 14 Oct. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Sherlock Holmes has solved unnumbered cases for Scotland Yard, but it turns out that Dr. Watson (played by Ben Kingsley) has a secret - there is no Sherlock Holmes! Having hired Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) to play the part of Holmes, Watson now wants to get rid of the man, as he is "a liar, a drunkard and a womanizer." But, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer arrives with a case that threatens the very existence of the Empire, and will talk to no one but the great Sherlock Holmes, Watson has to take Kincaid back for just one more case, and it's a whopper! There is a deep mystery here, one with Professor Moriarty (Paul Freeman) at it's heart, and only Holmes...er, Watson can possibly unravel it. [Color, released in 1988, with a running time of 1:47.]
This is a great movie! Turning the Sherlock Holmes stories any which way but loose, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley make a great duet, battling crime and each other. The movie succeeds in being outrageously funny, and yet absolutely gripping. The movie is clean, though Leslie Giles' secret is enough to make you squirm in front of little ones. Overall, though, my family and I loved this movie, and highly recommend it to you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 May 2013
Format: DVD
Without a Clue is directed by Thom Eberhardt and written by Larry Strawther and Gary Murphy. It stars Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Lysette Anthony, Jeffrey Jones, Matthew Sim, Paul Freeman, Pat Keen, Matthew Savage and Nigel Davenport. Music is by Henry Mancini and cinematography by Alan Hume.

Sherlock Holmes (Caine) is really a second rate actor hired for incognito purposes by the intelligent crime solver Dr. Watson (Kingsley). Tiring of him getting all the praise, Watson tries to dispense with the oafish Holmes' services. However, a major counterfeit case rears its head and Watson, with a bumbling Holmes in tow, must set aside differences to try and crack the case.

The premise is role reversal and it makes for a lovely entertaining movie. Oh the plot itself is hardly ingenious, and the absence of Kingsley's Watson for a good chunk of the last third of the movie is sorely felt, yet the japery and chemistry of Caine and Kingsley see it safely home.

Caine as Reginald Kincaid as Sherlock Holmes is a buffoon, a hard drinking pratfaller in waiting, someone who is not beyond peeking through a keyhole to ogle a shapely thigh. And Caine has a ball with the role! On the other side is Kingsley's Watson, continually irritated by his companion in crime solving, he's grumpy and stomps about like a spoiled kid. Kingsley also has a ball.

Holmes aficionados will appreciate the characterisation of Inspector Lestrade (Jones), since he's played as clueless, while the Baker Street Irregulars (Savage sprightly), Professor Moriarty (Freeman not in it much and not playing it for laughs really) and Mrs. Hudson (Pat Keen wonderful and really given a character that impacts on the jollification on show) keep the Holmes/Watson world vibrant.
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