7.0/10
8,837
70 user 34 critic

Without a Clue (1988)

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective, Dr. Watson.

Director:

Thom Eberhardt
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Reginald Kincaid / Sherlock Holmes
Ben Kingsley ... Dr. Watson
Jeffrey Jones ... Inspector Lestrade
Lysette Anthony ... Leslie Giles
Paul Freeman ... Prof. James Moriarty
Nigel Davenport ... Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen Pat Keen ... Mrs. Hudson
Peter Cook ... Greenhough
Tim Killick Tim Killick ... Sebastian
Matthew Savage Matthew Savage ... Wiggins
John Warner John Warner ... Peter Giles
Matthew Sim ... Real Lesley
Harold Innocent ... Mayor Johnson
George Sweeney ... John Clay
Murray Ewan Murray Ewan ... Archie
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Storyline

This is a Sherlock Holmes story with a difference. Here, Dr. Watson is the ace detective and has been using an actor to play the part Holmes. Holmes is a drunken actor and gets on Watson's nerves. When Watson tries to go it alone, he doesn't have much success, so he is forced to let Holmes take all the credit once more. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet the World's Greatest Detective and his bumbling partner . . . Sherlock Holmes See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sherlock and Me See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,246,772, 23 October 1988

Gross USA:

$8,539,181

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,539,181
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The closing credits offer an apology that states: "With apologies to the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson." See more »

Goofs

Moriarty uses arming lighter when on the docks. Ferrocerium (which is how flint lighters work) was not patented until 1903. See more »

Quotes

[Holmes and Watson enter a home and Watson picks up the mail]
Dr. Watson: Oh, a French postcard.
Holmes: Really?
[he takes the card from Watson]
Holmes: I know a chap who collected these once. He had this wonderful one... two women... oh, it's just a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
See more »

Crazy Credits

With apologies to the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Ladykillers (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings and lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by Mrs Hudson (Pat Keen) at the theatre
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good pastiche , but sadly underrated
4 July 2013 | by MaziunSee all my reviews

This movie is probably the finest parody of Sherlock Holmes I've ever seen . Yes , I like Wilder's "Private life of Sherlock Holmes " . Yes , Levinson's "Young Sherlock Holmes " was fun . "Without the clue" in my opinion easily beats them all . The idea here is simple , but brilliant (like the most of ideas) – what if Watson was the smart one and Holmes was an idiot ? This little movie is a great character comedy.

The movie actually really feels like a SERIOUS Sherlock Holmes movie . The music , the mood , the costumes and the art-direction – everything that is needed to bring the world of Holmes from the books on the screen alive is top-notch . Look at the beginning of the movie . Until the moment when Watson begins to shout at Holmes you could be easily fooled that this is just another adaptation of Conan Doyle's books. Hell , the whole plot is done well . If they would keep the original characterizations of the characters this would be a really good "normal" Holmes movie . This is something I feel that was lost by both Wilder and Levinson – the soul of Sherlock Holmes world .

The jokes here are simple , sometimes predictable . There are some more subtle jokes that you might miss , if you're not watching closely ( joke with the disappearing watch , joke with the violin ) . The true strength of this movie lies in the performances of Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley . I was especially surprised by Kingsley . I've never seen him in comedy before . He usually plays a rather evil and menacing characters . I've seen Caine in comedy before , so I knew he was perfectly capable to give a fine performance.

Kingsley and Caine have a wonderful chemistry together that is rarely seen on screen . They can make even the simplest line of dialogue hilarious and the interaction between them is a pleasure to watch . I seriously think that without them , the whole movie wouldn't have work . The other actors give them a good support , especially Jeffrey Jones . He's perfect for the role of Lestrade . He's got one hilarious scene when he's trying to figure out what Holmes said to him – he's facial expression is worth Academy Award . Great performance.

As I mentioned earlier the movie is very attractive visually and the orchestral music by Henry Mancini (famous for "Pink panther theme ") fits the story very well .

Overlooked and unappreciated , even now . Too bad . I give it 7/10.


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