13 July 2010

Sleuth (1972)


There's nothing like a little bit of mayhem to cheer one up.

So basically: Milo Tindel is engaged to a woman of rich tastes. This woman is also married to an eccentric author, Andrew Wyke. When Andrew invites Milo to his home while the wife is away, Milo agrees and they meet. Andrew's intentions for inviting Milo seem to be to stage a robbery of his wife's jewels, so that she will be financially stable and Andrew will be rid of her, which he seems to want. Things go awry when Andrew reveals the robbery was a set-up for him to be legally excused of killing Milo, who he plans to say was a common burglar.

Here be spoilers. And not one of those twist endings that everyone knows, like in Planet of the Apes, Citizen Kane, Soylent Green, ect. So please, if you haven't seen this film yet, stop reading. It's much better to be surprised, I swear. You lose much of the effect and half the movie if you continue. Now that we've got that settled: Masterpiece of a film. Lawrence Olivier and Michael Caine play perfectly off each other in this delightful tale of two men "playing a game." The first time I watched this, I had no idea of the twist until it was revealed, kudos to Michael Caine for pulling that off. The second time - this time - I had forgotten about it (I knew that he wasn't dead and came back, tho) and was ready to accept Inspector Doppler as a real detective. The scene when they find the blood was when I remembered. At that point I was still blown away! Tho, after you know the twist, the make-up and his performance is less believable and you can tell it's obviously Caine - however, before the illusion is broken, the belief of Inspector Doppler remains unhinged.

This is a well crafted film which defs masters the art of a twist ending! Should totes be higher on the list.

Ziggi seal of approval!

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