Sleuth (1972)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier
Extras: Featurette, Trailer, TV Spot, Biographies

Jospeh Mankiewicz’s mystery comedy ’Sleuth’ still ranks as one of the best of its genre and I find myself smiling smirking still, just as I write this. The story of a wealthy writer (Laurence Olivier) and a penniless hairdresser (Michael Caine) planning a robbery is as fascinating as it is funny. Witty and full of surprises, the two men never get to trust each other as they eye each other suspiciously, never knowing who’s playing who.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has prepared another one of their remarkable DVD transfers for this release of sleuth. Absolutely clean and free of defects, ’Sleuth ’ has never looked better. The image is revealing an incredible amount of detail and if it weren’t for the muted color scheme of the movie itself, you would never guess its true age. Colors are nicely reproduced and always stable. Contrast is very good, giving the atmospheric cinematography an additional edge, as the image is full of little details, deep shadows and good highlights. The compression is without flaws, making ’Sleuth’ a beautiful presentation to watch.

The DVD comes with the original mono audio track in English, as well as a monaural French dub. While sounding a bit dated with its limited frequency response the track is absolutely sufficient for the mostly dialogue-driven presentation and never becomes a point of distraction.

The disc also contains a new 23-minute featurette entitled ’A Sleuthian Journey With Anthony Shaffer.’ Shaffer, who wrote the original stageplay and the screenplay for the film takes a retrospective look at the production of the film and its life since. The theatrical trailer and TV Spot can also be found on the disc, as well as cast and crew biographies.

’Sleuth’ is a great movie that is all-too often overlooked, in part because of its originals as stage play, which gives it s certain static feel. Nonetheless, the wits that went in to the story and the dialogues, the superb acting and the clever execution of the film make it a true classic. In the hands of Anchor Bay Entertainment, this film has now found the home it has always deserved. In pristine quality for all of us to enjoy.