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Sherlock’s Classics: Film Review – Sleuth (1972)

MML

Outstanding mystery-thriller directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from playwright Anthony Shaffer’s Tony award winning play of a game-playing mystery author who invites his wife’s lover into a diabolical trap, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

The direction by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), the landmark biting and witty screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, eye-popping set design by Ken Adam (Dr. Strangelove, James Bond), and shattering career high tour-de-force performances by stars Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine make this supremely superlative and unforgettable entertainment.

Retaining its theatrical grip yet excelling in its own uniquely original cinematic palate, the play makes and extraordinarily easy transition to the screen, resulting in a delightfully rich tapestry and energetic labyrinth filled with devilishly tantalising and engaging plot twists that lurk in the shadows.

Wickedly delicious from start to finish, it would be a crime to reveal any more of the plot, only to say that it will have you spellbound and reaching for repeated viewings.

Nominated for four Academy awards including Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz), Best Actor for both Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, and Best Music (John Addison).

Available for the first time ever on DVD in Australia.

Stars: *****

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