7.0/10
8,709
69 user 33 critic

Without a Clue (1988)

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

Director:

Thom Eberhardt
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On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

"Without a Clue" is a joyful, rip-roaring, hilarious role-reversal adventure. 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$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 "Bat" and "Lady Elizabeth" were provided to the production by the Windermere Steamboat Museum according to the closing credits. See more »

Goofs

When Lord Smythwick and Inspector Lestrade are leaving Holmes' apartment, Holmes has partly closed the door with the Inspector partly turned towards Holmes. The next scene has the door fully opened with the Inspector facing Holmes. Then Holmes closes the door in the Inspectors face. See more »

Quotes

Holmes: As a matter of fact, Lestrade, You can be some help.
Inspector Lestrade: Of course!
Holmes: Hold my coat, it's hot in here.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed over still images of Victorian London. The final shot of Holmes and Watson form the backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Where Did You Get that Hat?
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph J. Sullivan
Performed by Sarah Parr-Byrne
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely brilliant, Watson! A Sherlock Holmes story where LESTRADE SOLVES THE BLOODY CASE!
23 September 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

The Sherlock Holmes stories are full of monumental blunders. Watson's famous war wound, which moves about from limb to limb, is among the least of them. Most of the blame for Arthur Conan Doyle's unparallelled clumsiness has fallen upon poor old John (or, according to one story, James) Watson - as if HE could possibly be responsible for the all (or any) of the inanities in, say, `The Mazarin Stone'.

`Without a Clue' is an honest, meticulously researched film that does what it can to redress the injustice. It reveals that Watson was really the brains of the Holmes/Watson team - that Sherlock Holmes does not, technically speaking, even exist. How does this get us around all the inconsistencies that have puzzled Sherlock aficionados over the past century? To be frank, it doesn't. But no theory does. There are just too many inconsistencies to be fended off and this theory is about as likely to be right as any other. It's the theory I tend to believe. At least it's funnier than any of its rivals.

Anyone who loves the Holmes stories - anyone who has not been exposed to the stories but is genetically predisposed to love them nonetheless - MUST see this film. You don't need to know who Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and Moriarty are in order to enjoy it. Or rather, you need to know, but whatever you may think, you DO know - knowledge of the Sherlock Holmes universe has found its way into the water supply and 90% of all people are born with it. That's why `Without a Clue' is so hilarious. That's why it won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Actor. Actually, it didn't win anything, but I presume this was only because of some footling technicality.

P.S.: I should really set readers' minds at rest by telling them that Lestrade doesn't really solve the case. `Without a Clue' offers us a radically revisionist account of history - but not THAT radical.


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