#33 / 365 – ‘Slueth’ (1972) – 133 mins
IMDb Challenge #19 / 250 – Ranked #241 – Via DVD Collection
Milo Tindle (Michael Caine) and Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier) have something in common, Andrew’s wife. In an attempt to find a way out of this without costing Andrew a fortune in alimony, he suggests Milo pretend to rob his house and let him claim the insurance on the stolen jewelry. The problem is that they don’t really like each other and each cannot avoid the zinger on the other.
Based on the Tony Award winning play of the same name this a tour-de-force of a film of where the game of character assassination is fought like no other, from the moment Milo arrives at Andrew’s splendid mansion to weave himself through the garden maze he quickly realises he’s there to play a unique and lethal battle of mind games against his nemesis, where the upper-hand is won and lost at every corner by both.
With only Olivier and Caine cast to play out this game and at 133 minutes you would think this would be a hard watch, believe me it isn’t. Oliver is calculating as the eccentric Andrew who captivates and switches between a whole range of accents throughout with apparent ease. However it is Caine who steals the show with an absolute blistering performance, being only thirty-nine at the time and playing alongside one of the heavyweights of British cinema and stage who was at the very pinnacle of his career, would have been no easy feat.
This film was remade in 2007 by Kenneth Branagh where the roles are reversed, with Caine switching to the part of Andrew and Jude Law playing out Milo, would interesting to see out it lives up to this original masterpiece.