Without a Clue (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective - Dr Watson.
PG (violence)
Comedy , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Orion Home Video

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Michael Caine
as Sherlock Holmes
Ben Kingsley
as Dr. John Watson
Jeffrey Jones
as Inspector Lestrade
Lysette Anthony
as Impostor Leslie Giles
Matthew Sim
as Real Leslie
Paul Freeman
as Dr. Moriarty
Nigel Davenport
as Lord Smithwick
Pat Keen
as Mrs. Hudson
Peter Cook
as Greenhough
Tim Killick
as Sebastian
Mathew Savage
as Wiggins
John Warner
as Peter Giles
Harold Innocent
as Mayor Johnson
Mathew Sim
as Real Leslie
George Sweeney
as John Clay
Murray Ewan
as Archie
Martin Pallot
as Photographer
Gregor Fisher
as Bobby at Warehouse
Caroline Milmoe
as Constance
Steven O'Donnell
as Bartender
James Bree
as Barrister
Lesley Daine
as Lady on Train
Steven O'Donell
as Bartender
Jennifer Guy
as Christabel
John Tordoff
as Mr. Andrews
Alexandra Spencer
as Mrs. Andrews
Elizabeth Kelly
as Landlady
John Surman
as Constable at Lakes
Andrew Bradford
as Dockworker
Evan Russell
as Sergeant at Docks
Alan Bodenham
as Driver
Stephen Tiller
as Reporter #1
Michael O'Hagan
as Reporter #2
Ivor Roberts
as Reporter #3
Clive Mantle
as Thug #1
Dave Cooper
as Thug #2
Sam Davies
as Local #1
Adam Kotz
as Local #2
Les White
as Henchman #1
Chris Webb
as Henchman #2
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Critic Reviews for Without a Clue

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

The role reversal proves to be an irresistible hook for a comedy, and for the most part, Without a Clue delivers on this idea, with wonderful performances by Kingsley and Caine and crackling banter by scripters Gary Murphy and Larry Strawther.

Full Review… | April 4, 2015
Creative Loafing

...it's impossible not to derive some pleasure out of Caine and Kingsley's effortless chemistry with one another...

Full Review… | July 4, 2009
Reel Film Reviews

Uma divertida brincadeira que explora bem as características dos personagens de uma maneira nova, beneficiando-se principalmente da interação entre os ótimos Caine e Kingsley.

June 22, 2007
Cinema em Cena

An inspired taken on the "Holmes" legend....some good laughs to be had

May 5, 2005

Conceit was good, execution weak and faulty

August 30, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Quote not available.

July 23, 2005

Audience Reviews for Without a Clue


I can't understand why this never did well upon release as I think its a marvellous spoof/comedy that is perfectly cast with Caine and Kinglsey as 'Holmes' and 'Watson'. This could easily of come from the mind of Mel Brooks really its that kind of light hearted romp with silly jokes and silly prat falls, not too childish just about right. The plot for the film is also quite genius, simply the roles are reversed, Watson (Kingsley) is the brilliant detective and Holmes (Caine) is actually a bumbling drunk who is employed by Watson to pretend to be the real Holmes for the sake of his novels and his own job. Caine's character is actually called 'Reg Kinclaid' who simply inherits the name of Holmes for the big cover up that the real Watson has orchestrated. What is also quite impressive is the look of the film, sets, costumes and location work are all really well done and look quite realistic, add to this a very impressive cast of classic stars (mainly English) and this really is a top class adventure very much like Gene Wilder's film 'The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother' only much better looking.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Without a Clue is an amusing parody of the Sherlock Holmes stories in which the true genius is Ben Kingsley's Dr. Watson, Holmes being a womanising drunken actor hired to play the part. There's little here that hasn't been done before as Conan Doyle's stories have been pillaged for material ever since they were written, but the comic chemistry between the two talented leads works brilliantly. Michael Caine's clearly loving every minute of it and in combination with Kingsley's ever more disdainful and exasperated Watson, they make a great comic partnership. The plot is minimal, feeling like an upmarket Carry On story or the English cousin of Clouseau, but it's all done with such infectious, knockabout charm it rarely fails to raise a smile. Hardly a world changer, but a pleasant diversion on a rainy afternoon.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Such an underrated film. This is a great twist on the characters, and the two leads are superb. The film itself doesn't go anywhere you don't expect, but there are plenty of chuckles along the way. Worth a watch.

Marcus Woolcott
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

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