Additional InformationSIR LAURENCE OLIVIER and MICHAEL CAINE in the original 1972 filming of Anthony Shaffer’s “SLEUTH”
This 1972 masterwork doesn't just have a surprise ending, but a surprise beginning and middle as well. Its corkscrew plot unfolds in a 16th-century English mansion owned by Andrew Wyke, an upper-class mystery writer played by Laurence Olivier. The action focuses on a battle of wits between Wyke and Milo Tindle, a lower-class owner of hair salons, played by Michael Caine. When the two confront each other in the mansion over Milo's affair with Wyke's wife, the conflict begins. It's hard to decide what's more entertaining -- the repartee, the black humor, the convoluted plot, or the surprises that pop up like jack-in-the-boxes. Olivier and Caine are superb as devilishly devious opponents in a game of one-upsmanship that could turn deadly at any moment. The sets for the home of Andrew Wyke are a wonder in themselves, designed by the one and only Ken Adam (DR. STRANGELOVE, and many James Bond films); they are crammed with fascinating bricabrac, the detritus and obsessions of Wyke’s life. The score, by TOM JONES’ John Addison, is playful and sly, befitting the twists and turns of the story. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (ALL ABOUT EVE, CLEOPATRA) pulled off a plot trick of his own to prevent audiences from guessing the outcome of the film: In the cast roll at the beginning of the film, he listed the names of fictional actors to fool the audience into thinking that someone might show up at a crucial moment to reverse or further the fortunes of Wyke or Tindle. Now, as to the surprising debut of Alec Cawthorne as Inspector Doppler. . .
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