Sleuth (1972) w/Our Fair City

Sleuth This week on Alcohollywood, David Rheinstrom of Our Fair City joins us as we get out our magnifying glasses and take a closer look at the 1972 dramedy-thriller Sleuth! Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine both got Oscar nods for their performances in this adaptation of the titular Anthony Schaffer play, in which an eccentric old crime novel writer (Olivier) invites his wife’s working-class new lover (Caine) for a Machiavellian game of wits they won’t soon forget. Both actors are in fine form, the twists are fun and inventive, and there’s a good deal of spark that helps make up for the film’s bloated runtime and overuse of certain gags. Still, give us a listen to discuss this fun old film, and how its 2007 Ken Branagh remake (also starring Caine) holds up – and don’t forget to check out our drinking rules and custom cocktail below!

Also, if you haven’t heard us on the CinemaJaw podcast, we visited our other Chicago film podcast buds just this last week to talk performances by actors playing themselves – check it out here!


THIS EPISODE’S DRINK: The Jumped-Up Pantry Boy

This gin-based martini offers a bit of English sophistication mixed with Italian verve, mirroring the dynamics of the upper-class dandy Andrew Wyke and working-class hairdresser Milo Tindle. We also hide some deceptive sweetness and spice within this elegant cocktail with orange, rhubarb, simple syrup and some red pepper flakes for color. Enjoy!

Sleuth cocktail2 parts Old Tom gin
1 part genepi
1 part Cointreau
2 parts of orange juice
dash, rhubarb bitters
dash, simple syrup
pinch, red pepper flakes

1) Put gin, genepi, Cointreau, orange juice, bitters and syrup in a shaker; stir to combine.
2) Pour straight into martini glass; sprinkle red pepper for garnish.


  1. Whenever Laurence Olivier lapses into a silly character voice
  2. Any time you see a close-up of one of Olivier’s creepy puppets
  3. Every time the pair move into a new room


Andrew Wyke (Olivier) says, “You’re a young man, dressed as a clown, about to be murdered.”

Join us next week as we take on another two-person living-room drama, this one with much darker overtones –Hard Candy!

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About Alcohollywood Staff

The film staff of the film website/podcast Alcohollywood.

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