Director(s): Thom Eberhardt
IMDB Rating: 6.8
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 Watsons nerves. When Watson tries to go it alone, he doesnt have much success, so he is forced to let Holmes take all the credit once more.
|Without a Clue (iPod)||Resolution: 480x272 px||Total Size: 313 Mb||
|Without a Clue (DVD)||Resolution: 720x416 px||Total Size: 1400 Mb|
Alice Liddel (20 May 2013)
By suggesting Sherlock Holmes was a fictional vehicle for the brilliant -but unglamorous - Dr. John Watson, Crime Doctor, 'Without a clue' merelytweaks the subtext of Conan Doyle's original stories. Holmes was always thecreation of Watson, a receptacle for certain ideals, a certain way oflooking at the world: Holmes, within Watson's chronicles, is alwayscomplaining about his sidekick's exaggerations, mythologising andinaccuracies, while many adventures are left out, deemed inappropriate forpublic consumption, i.e. not fitting into the myth. There is an unbuiltconflict in Conan Doyle between 'Watson' and 'Holmes', which is given atwist by the real author's notorious dissatisfaction with his creation, andhis many attempts to murder him. Although Holmes is often seen as the archetypal figure of order, thereassuring interpreter of chaos and crime, he is also a creature of the finde siecle, a drug-taking, atonal violin-playing, mad-scientist decadent. This duality was the theme of Wilder's masterpiece 'the Private life ofSherlock Holmes', with which this film shares a comic, revisionist tone, andat least one plot twist. Both films emphasise the figure of Sherlock Holmesas a role, something to be played for the public, masking a real person atodds with both role and his society. In 'without a clue', there is no 'real' Holmes, he is literally a roleplayed by the inept theatrical ham, Reginald Kincaid, the sort of characterVincent Price played in films like 'Theatre of Blood'. The allusion is notgratuituous - both films make the theatre their central thematic motif,climaxing in an old theatre, site of the actor's greatest humiliation, inwhich he attempts redemption. For Edward Lionheart, this was tragic; forHolmes it is genuinely redemptive as he saves the day as 'himself' (or arole more suited to his own personality), and earns the respect of hiscreator. And creator is the word. Another motif running through the film is religion- the mystery and its solution centre on a man who reads the Bible. Watsonis a God who attempts to create a man in his own image; like the first God,his Adam is a miserable failure, prey to ever-accumulating temptations. Thefilm's best scene occurs when Watson dies - an eerie, nocturnal scene thatmoves from misty Victorian Conan Doyle to the metaphysical world of Borges;Holmes the role must live as a man without his creator, in a Godless world. The idea of the bible as a code to be deciphered to solve the mystery issatisfyingly Borgesian too. These two sets of metaphors - religion and theatre - culminate in thefinale, set in the Orpheum, named after the poet who ventured into theunderworld (a pun here on hell and the criminal fraternity), host toKincaid's last performance, 'Shadow of Death', a multi-reference to thePsalms, Holmes himself (one of Basil Rathbone's films) and, again, a whiffof Borges. The ceiling of a theatre, from which Holmes descends, and whichconstantly defeats Leslie (herself playing a role) is called the 'gods': thelighting by fire and the ultimate conflagration suggesthell.That this rich stew - about acting; creating; the role of the popular press;the police; the link between detection and voyeurism/misogyny; metaphysics;identity and gender; doubles (after all, Watson the creator, must play arole as the 'dim' sidekick); the Victorian age ('respectable' society'sreliance on 'irregular' help from 'urchins'; Watson's strait-laced austeritycontrasted with Holmes' indulgence of every appetite) - should result insuch a funny film is remarkable. Its true entertainment lies less in thefilming (at one stage a boom glares at the top of the frame in a porto-Dogmemoment of self-referentiality), the 'economic' recreation of 1900 London, orthe tendancy to caricature in supporting roles, or the sometimes ill-advised'visual' humour, than the two marvellous, gleeful central preformances,Kingsley's clipped, constipated, infuriated genius, and Caine's wonderfullylecherous, hammy drunk.
(20 May 2013)
I knew I liked this spoof of Sherlock Holmes already, but I wanted to own a copy of it. It is great fun. It arrived in a timely fashion.
Baroque (19 May 2013)
The premise is so clever. Sherlock Holmes never really existed. It wasDr. Watson (Ben Kingsley) who had been solving these cases all along,and simply hired bumbling actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) toplay the fake Sherlock Holmes.To those who are hard-core Holmes fans, this film will be cherished.Sadly, the VHS is out of print in the USA (I bought mine used at a fleamarket), and DVDs are available only in Europe. (UPDATE: The film has been released on DVD in the USA, but in Pan &Scan.)Also, the film received hardly any promotion in the USA. But it islavishly directed, cleverly written, and magnificently cast.Everything about this film deserves exclamation points!Track it down any way you can, and prepare to laugh out loud.
(19 May 2013)
This movie is so brilliantly done by such a formidable cast of actors - why it didn't get more attention is truly a mystery! No matter how many times I watch Without A Clue, it always makes me howl out loud with gut busting laughter. Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley are an unbeatable comedy combo. Great viewing for all ages.
(18 May 2013)
'Without a clue' is, without a doubt (sorry, couldnt resist)one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes spoofs ever created. Michael Caine is Reginald Kinkade, A down-on-his-luck actor who is hired by John Watson (Ben Kingsley) To act as a middleman between him and the public. Watson is a detective genius, who can solve almost any riddle, but at first he shunned publicity, wanting to be a doctor instead of a detective. So he hired Kinkade and gave him the name Sherlock Holmes, telling him the answers and letting him parrot them back to the reporters. After a while, he thinks getting credit for his work might be a good idea, but people refuse to belive that he is really the detecting genius behind Sherlock Holmes. Then the five-pound-plates from the bank of England are stolen, and he gets the chance to prove himself. But, having trouble doing any thing (You're not police. You can't be sure) he needs Kinkade to help him set out. They encounter many obstacles, (All of which are sidesplittingly funny) and in the end Kinkade gives Watson his credit, but every minute of the movie is funny enough to rupture internal organs.
(18 May 2013)
This movie combines two of the greatest talents, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine in a romp with good old-fashioned charm. It doesn't tax the brain and shows off the wit and cleverness of two very talented actors in a Holmes spoof. Great fun!
(14 May 2013)
To me, a good, funny movie. Michael Caine, as a bumbling Sherlock Holmes,is great. Ben Kingsley,as Dr. Watson, is the real dectective who solvesthe crimes and writes the stories. He has hired Caine, an unsucessfulactor, to play the part of Holmes. There are some great scenes and lots of laughs in this movie. I would recommend it to anyone.
(13 May 2013)
I can't really add to the praise of this funny, funny movie. I just thought I'd point out one scene I noticed. Wiggins is in the Strand office and has the line, "Hello ducks. Do you work here?" Watch the expression on woman's face. She's really suprised. That line had to be an adlib.
(13 May 2013)
There are plenty of reviews that tell what a delightfull movie Without A Clue is.It is a crime that this is not available in widescreen for region 1 dvds.however,for all of you with multi region players the region 2 disc IS ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN.Please note the dvd case cover said fullscreen but it is most definately widescreen,not compessed screen or anything else but the real deal.I will discribe the particular disc I am talking of....it reads''itc entertainment,the silver collection,distributed by carlton video limited,region 2. I beleive this is a australian and great britan version for all writing is english only...Its amazing in widescreen....well i hope this helped someone..good luck.
(12 May 2013)
You don't have to be familiar with the Sherlock Holmes stories, but it helps. Every time I watch this film, I find something else in it. Thouroughly enjoyable, if you pay attention. One of the smartest comedies I've seen in ages.
(09 May 2013)
This review is from: Without a Clue (DVD) This is a great movie for family entertainment. It includes classic mystery as well as light comedy. It's perfect.
(09 May 2013)
This review is from: Without a Clue (DVD) It will not play. Include a list of states where it is licensed to play in product description so customers do not waste time and money. Not recommended.
Diogenes81 (22 April 2013)
Without a Clue is a hilarious parody of a detective story with greatperformances and a clever script. The premise is brilliant and is basedon an intriguing reversal of roles: Watson (Ben Kingsley) is the realdetective, the thinking mind; Holmes is just a fictional character thedoctor has created, and, to keep the illusion alive, he has hired anactor to play the role. However, Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) - theactor pretending to be Holmes - is an inept fool who commits mistakeafter mistake.Together, the two have to conduct an investigation on a crucial case:as Watson tries to solve the mystery with the "help" of theincreasingly clueless "Holmes", professor Moriarty (Paul Freeman) plotsin the shadowsÂ The supporting cast is fine, but the movie reallybelongs to the two leads, who have a terrific chemistry together. Caineis hilarious as the fake Holmes, a clumsy, self-absorbed buffoon.Kingsley gives a note-perfect performance as Watson: he has a lessshowy part than Caine's but plays the potentially less interesting roleof the straight man with class and wit.The direction is excellent; the soundtrack by Henry Mancini isfantastic and it's one of my favourite "comedic" soundtracks ever.Without a Clue offers plenty of laughs and an impressive amount ofmemorable quotes (my favourite is probably the "Manchurian Mamba" bit,but there are really a lot of funny moments). Recommended not only toHolmes' fans, but to all those who enjoy an amusing mix between acomedy and a detective story.10/10
Michael Neumann (22 April 2013)
That sound you hear is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spinning in his grave,from mirth more than outrage at the sorry state of his legendary BakerStreet detective, depicted here as a bumbling third-rate actor living arole created by the real deductive genius and crime fighter: Dr. JohnWatson.It's a convenient (if sometimes slightly antagonistic) arrangement,with Watson finding the clues and Holmes getting the credit, and bothMichael Caine and Ben Kingsley play the one-joke premise for all itsworth, having a lot of fun with their respective characters. Caine isthe idiotic, clumsy, lecherous and vain Sherlock Holmes, but Kingsley'sWatson is no less temperamental: he has to solve the mysteries andmatch wits with the fiendish Moriarty while keeping his petulant alterego under control.The plotting is conventional and Henry Mancini's cartoon music scoremakes the film sound at times like a mediocre sit-com, but it's apleasure watching two award-winning talents trample a literary iconwith such impeccable comic timing and malicious glee.
(16 April 2013)
This review is from: Without a Clue (DVD) Watson: "Moriarty knows. I am the only match for his evil genius."Holmes: "Are you sure he's not trying to kill me?"Watson: "Of course not. He knows you're an idiot."Holmes: "Thank God!"What if Dr. Watson was actually the brains of this very famous partnership? And supposing that Sherlock Holmes was, in fact, a bungling ninny? C'mon, that premise'll draw you in, right? Here's the plot:Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley), not wishing to undermine his career as a physician, once solved a case and attributed the solving of it to a fabricated character he named Sherlock Holmes. Very quickly, demand for this flawless Baker Street sleuth grew, and Watson was soon forced to hire a body to play the part. Enter Reginald Kincaid, a bungling, boozy, womanizing has-been of an actor. Yet, somehow, he fits the part.But now Sherlock Holmes has taken all the plaudits and the credit away from Watson, who also soon tires of Kincaid's ineptness and habitual drunkenness. After one unsatisfactory incident too many, Watson cuts Kincaid loose and sets out on his own as the dismally self-titled Crime Doctor. But the Crime Doctor promptly finds himself dismissed by the constabulary and scorned by the latest prospective client. In the end, Watson has no recourse but to summon Holmes one last time (he finds him in a drinking establishment, pinching ladies' bums). But it's made perfectly clear, this is very definitely their last case together. And off they go. It's a great premise, and WITHOUT A CLUE mines it for all its worth even as it upends the Sherlock Holmes mystique. The actual mystery itself which the duo attempts to solve is unimaginative (read: boring), involving the theft of printing plates from the Royal Mint. It's a good thing then that the film's focus is on the comedy. There are several hilarious moments here, laughs at times elicited by physical slapstick and at times by clever punchlines or even by a mere exasperated (Watson) or besotted (Holmes) expression. Ben Kingsley deserves massive props for conveying to mirthful effect some of the very best "pained, put upon, and long suffering" expressions I've seen in cinema. The two leads, Caine and Kingsley, are splendiferous. If you're a Michael Caine fan, then you're not only aware of his wonderful acting skills, but also of his deft talent for comedy. My favorite Michael Caine film may actually be Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Here, he's even more broad in his style and delivery. It's understood that he's not directly playing Sherlock Holmes, but rather a ruined, drunken actor playing Sherlock Holmes. It's fun watching Michael Caine romp in his role of lecher and imbecile, basking in the glow of Holmes' admirers but being condescended to by those decidedly in the know (it's a sad state of affairs when even a street urchin thinks you're lower than dirt). Now, Ben Kingsley - who doesn't really do a lot of comedic films - he surprised me at how humorous he was, playing the brilliant criminologist just itching to be acknowledged but frustratingly trapped in his own created reality. He and Caine together are masterful. Perfect timing and very good chemistry, two very good British actors letting their hair down. Jeffrey Jones is also good as the always-one-step-behind Inspector Lestrade, and he's gold in the "sleuthing" distraction routine.It's fortuitous that Caine and Kingsley are so good because Professor Moriarty doesn't really register much of an impact, although I did like his muttered line: "How demeaning to be set upon by nitwits!" But, if nitwits are consistently this funny, well, I guess I could do with a bit more of this brand of ineptitude. Concerning WITHOUT A CLUE, why not relish it for the farce that it is and tolerate it for the mystery that it isn't?And, by the way, break out the widescreen version already, will ya?
(15 April 2013)
My Russian born soulmate and I recently watched this movie (DVD) and I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I discovered shortly after we started dating that the Russians have their own movie renditions of Sherlock Holmes and I must admit they are quite excellent. I was a bit afraid that she might find the whole idea of a comedy based on Holmes rather rediculous. I was also a bit concerned for myself, as I'd never even HEARD of this movie before we picked it up at the store the other day, despite the fact that it came out in 1988. But, given that it WAS a Holmes story and starred Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine, we figured "how bad can it be?". Well, I'm happy to report that we both thoroughly enjoyed this movie, both as Holmes fans and as folks who enjoy a good comedy now and then. I was a bit surprised just how much and how often my girlfriend laughed. When we'd finished watching it, she said she not only liked it but considered it one of her favorites. This coming from a woman who judges both movies in general and Holmes movies in particular with a rather discerning eye. Others have explained the plot well enough here so I'll just that the production values, acting and directing of this movie make it great fun for lovers of Holmes and comedy alike.
(15 April 2013)
This review is from: Without a Clue (DVD) If you like Sherlock Holmes Stories and movies you will love the funny side just as much. Michael Caine is out standing in his role as Sherlock Holmes and how he bumbles through his cases and comes out smelling like a rose.
(14 April 2013)
You'd expect that a film starring acting greats Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley would be a success, but when the premise is as shallow as what if WATSON were the brains behind Holmes, you've got a bloody mess of a movie. An abominable mess that should never have been made. View "Young Sherlock Holmes," the recently released "Sherlock Holmes" starring Robert Downey Jr & Jude Law, the black-and-white films starring Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce or the Granada Television series starring Jeremy Brett & Edward Hardwicke and leave this mess alone.
(12 April 2013)
WITHOUT A CLUE (1988) is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I love this movie!That said, I have to wonder why this inventive spoof of Sherlock Holmes was not a huge box-office success when it was first released. Certainly it has garnered a cult following over the years, but the mass audience has never really embraced it.Perhaps the reason is that Sherlock Holmes appeals to a more intellectual viewer and one needs, at the very least, a basic familiarity with Conan Doyle and the Baker Street sleuth in order to appreciate the humor (often slapstick) in this Thom Eberhardt-directed film.The basic premise of the script, written by Gary Murphy and Larry Strawther, is brilliant. In their scenario, there is no Sherlock Holmes. He is a fictional character, created for Strand Magazine by genius detective Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley). The Holmes stories were so popular that people came to believe that Sherlock was a real person. Thus, Watson hired an out-of-work actor (Michael Caine) to play the role of Holmes while he did the actual detective work. Unfortunately, the actor is also a drunk, a gambler, a womanizer, a coward and an absolute moron. As much as Watson would like to get rid of the imbecile, he's stuck with him...particularly when the evil Professor Moriarty (Paul Freeman) appears on the scene, planning the crime of the century.This one is laugh-out-loud funny.© Michael B. Druxman
(11 April 2013)
This movie was hilarious! I had just recently read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's canon of Sherlock Holmes stories, so I was ready to see a different "interpretation" of the facts. I sat down and watched this movie with a friend, who knew nothing about Holmes besides the usual: "Elementary my dear Watson" and the deerstalker hat and cape. We both had a ball watching this movie. The premise reminded me of one of my favorite TV Sleuth shows, Remington Steele. Great great fun!
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20