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Sleuth (2007)

Director: Kenneth Branagh     Starring: Michael Caine Jude Law
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Learn more about Sleuth:

Format: DVD
Sku: 206728426
UPC: 043396225220
UPC 14: 00043396225220
Category Keywords: Murder  Remake  Theatrical Release  Thriller
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Television
Obey the Rules.
When a bestselling novelist discovers his wife is sleeping with a daring actor, the two rivals become immersed in a deadly game of deception, lies and revenge.

"...well acted, and directed by Branagh with chilly, distant ingenuity. It has a certain edge and daring...  Andrew O'Hehir,
"The two actors don't just feast -- they tear and bite into the unctuous nastiness of their roles.  Entertainment Weekly
"A tense, intelligent, superbly-performed tour-de-force by two great actors from two generations.  Jeffrey Lyons, NBC's Reel Talk
"A brilliantly acted, superbly directed, craftily written film. Gripping, tense, riveting...a masterful movie.  Larry King, CNN
"...the verbal sparring is so sharp it's a wonder nobody loses an eye...  Los Angeles Times

Editor's Note
In 1972, Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine starred in the screen adaptation of SLEUTH, based on Anthony Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Olivier played Andrew Wyke, a droll old writer whose wife is having an affair with the young, ambitious Milo Tindle, played by Caine. Thirty-five years later, Caine is starring as Wyke in an updated version of SLEUTH, completely rewritten by Nobel Prizewinner Harold Pinter and directed by multiple Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh. Jude Law, who played the Michael Caine role in the 2004 remake of ALFIE, now takes over as Tindle, a hairdresser-actor who has shown up at Wyke's estate to demand that Wyke divorce his wife so Tindle can marry her. But the extremely successful and wealthy Wyke is not about to give up his wife without a very determined and well-calculated battle of wits. Wyke lives by himself in a home that features dozens of electronic gadgets and odd contraptions, forcing Tindle to always be on the lookout for something strange to happen. The cat-and-mouse game continues as Tindle and Wyke play mind games with each other in a thrilling contest of one-upsmanship that soon involves a gun. Caine is marvelous as Wyke, strutting through his home with the absolute confidence that he will get the best of Tindle, but Law, who is also one of the film's producers, holds up his end of the drama, giving as good as he gets. Branagh keeps a steady hand as director, not allowing the camera to get in the way of the two dueling characters, but Tim Harvey's unusual production design nearly steals the show.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, French, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Sony
Video Release Date Release Date: 3/20/2012
Video Play Time Running Time: 86 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2007
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 22522
Video UPC UPC: 00043396225220
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English [CC], English
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Harold Pinter
Video Cast Info Jude Law
Video Cast Info Michael Caine
Video Cast Info Anthony Shaffer - Based On Play By
Video Cast Info Haris Zambarloukos - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Harold Pinter - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Kenneth Branagh - Director
Video Cast Info Kenneth Branagh, et. al. - Producer
Video Cast Info Neil Farrell - Editor
Video Cast Info Patrick Doyle - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Tim Harvey - Production Designer


Winner (2007)
   Video Award Name Venice Film Festival, Kenneth Branagh, Queer Lion - Special Mention

Nominee (2007)
   Video Award Name Venice Film Festival, Kenneth Branagh, Golden Lion Award

Professional Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"The two actors don't just feast -- they tear and bite into the unctuous nastiness of their roles." -- Grade: B 10/19/2007 p.105

Los Angeles Times
"[T]he verbal sparring is so sharp it's a wonder nobody loses an eye..." 10/12/2007

Ultimate DVD
3 stars out of 5 -- "[SLEUTH] showcases two mesmerizing performances from Caine and Law....They obviously thoroughly enjoy playing this deliciously dramatic game of cat and mouse..." 05/01/2008 p.70

ReelViews 7 of 10
Sleuth is Kenneth Branagh's re-make/re-imagination/re-invention of the 1972 Joseph L. Mankiewicz film which, in turn, was based on Anthony Shaffer's stage play. In the original, Laurence Olivier played the high-born snob Andrew Wyke and Michael Caine was the working class hairdresser Milo Tindle. This time around, Caine is Andrew and Jude Law is Milo. The general storyline remains the same, as does the cat-and-mouse dynamic between the leads, but Branagh has dramatically upgraded the look of the movie and acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter was brought in to re-write the screenplay. The result is a script with more delicious lines and a running length that cuts about 45 minutes from the original. What's lost in translation, however, is any reason to like or sympathize with either of the principals. In the earlier film, one felt occasional pangs of empathy for both characters. Here, they're arrogant assholes, and it's tough to enjoy spending 90 minutes in the company of two such jerks...If revenge is a dish best served cold, then Andrew and Milo are dining raw. The 1972 movie was better paced and presented a superior story but this one has its own pleasures. It's an interesting failure - a film that works more successfully as a study of technique and writing than as a motion picture. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
When "Sleuth" premiered last month at the Toronto Film Festival, a great many critics (including me), writing in advance about it sight unseen, described it as a "remake" of the 1972 film based on Anthony Shaffer's stage play. The festival program was more accurate, describing it as "a fascinating transformation." So it is. Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you've seen the earlier play or film, you've got this one covered...The director is Kenneth Branagh, himself a master of stagecraft and a lover of theatrical gesture. How brilliant he was in his film "Hamlet" (1996) to have the prince address his great soliloquy to his own reflection in a mirror. Look again at his underrated "Dead Again" (1991) and see his joy in dazzling effect...In "Sleuth" what he celebrates is perplexing, ominous, insinuating material in the hands of two skilled actors. Law, interestingly, takes the role played by Caine in 1972, and Caine fills the role played then by Laurence Olivier. Caine, who has never been much for the stage, is a superb screen actor, so good his master classes on acting for the camera are on DVD. Here, dry and clipped, biting and savage, he goes for the kill. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Caine,Michael
Product attributeLabel:   Columbia/tri-Star
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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