Synopsis: Milo Tindle and Andrew Wyke 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. The plot has many shifts in which the advantage shifts between Milo and Andrew.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
138 min

Dr. Grayson was never in london

at the time of the murder.

In fact, the good doctor stayed in a small

hotel in Melksham on the night in question.

He then returned to Broughton Gifford

on the 2:
40 train...

disguised as Sir Mortimer

turret's Valet, Burton,

making sure his arrival was

noted by the ticket inspector.

From then on, his plan was

simplicity itself.

Knowing it was Burton's day off,

he had no difficulty in entering

Hellrake Hall unobserved...

And murdering Sir Mortimer with the

arrow from the astrolabe...

which he had sharpened

on the stone knife grinder

by the scullery window.

"Remember my query about

brass knives at the time ?

I was worried about

those metal shavings."

"By jove, Lord Merridew, sir,

"You don't miss a trick.

But since you appear

to know so much, sir,"

continued the inspector humbly,

"I wonder if you would explain

how the murderer managed to

leave the body of his victim...

"in the middle of the tennis

court and effect his escape...

"without leaving any tracks

behind him in the red dust.

Frankly, sir, we in the Police

Force are just plain baffled."

St. John Lord Merridew,

the great detective,

rose majestically,

his huge Father Christmas face

glowing with mischievous delight.

Slowly, he brushed the

crumbs of seedy cake...

from the folds of his

pendulous waistcoat.

"The Police may be baffled,

Inspector," he boomed,

"But Merridew is not.

"Thirty years ago, the

murderer, Dr. Grayson,

was a prominent member

of the Ballets Russes,

dancing under the name

of Oleg Graysinski.

And though the years had

altered his appearance somewhat,

yet his old skill

had not deserted him.

He carried the body to

the center of the court,

walking on his points...

along the white tape which separated

the service boxes, and from there...

he threw it seven feet into the court,

close to the baseline where it was found.

And then, with a neatly executed fouett,

he faced about and went

back the way he had come,

thus leaving no traces.

And that, Inspector, is

Merridew's solution."

Hello !

Are you there ?

Mr. Wyke ?

- Mr. Wyke ?

- Who's there ?

It's me, Milo Tindle.

I think you're expecting me.

Yes, indeed. So good of you to come.

Won't you join me ?

Well, I have been trying to do

exactly that for quite some time.

Here we are.

Yes, my outdoor inner sanctum.

I designed it myself.

Provides for me just that extra bit

of privacy that an author requires.

I must say, you're not an

easy man to drop in on.

Just so. So, you're Milo Tindle.

- I'm Andrew Wyke. Welcome to Cloak Manor.

- Thank you.

I found your note when I came down

from London this afternoon.

Oh, good. Yes.

I hoped you'd be here this weekend,

so I pushed it through your letter

box a little earlier today.

Well, now, what will

you have to drink ?

- Uh, vodka and tonic, please.

- Ah. Of course.

- How are you settling in here

at laundry cottage ?

- Very well, thank you.

Using it for weekends,

that sort of thing ?

Yes, that sort of thing.

Vodka-- I don't seem to

have any out here. Is--

- Gin will do.

- Good.

Charming little place,

Laundry cottage--

Ideal for relaxations of all kinds.

Unfortunately, I don't

have time for them myself.

As a matter of fact, I've just

dictated the denouement...

of my new book,

Death by double fault.

I must say, it's gone extremely well.

Ah, then.

Soda, soda, soda, soda--

Oh, dear. Doesn't seem to be

any tonic here either.

It's awful.

Here, shall we go indoors ?

- Whatever you like.

- Good.

Tell me, do you agree that

the detective story is...

the normal recreation of noble minds ?

I'm afraid I don't know

very much about noble minds.

- Is it supposed to be ?

- I'm quoting from Philip Guedalla,

a biographer of the '30s,

the golden age when every Cabinet Minister

had a thriller by his bedside,

and all detectives were titled.

- Before your time, I expect.

- Somewhat. Let me carry that.

Oh, thank you so much. Very good of you.

Yet, you know, even today, I still

set my works among the gentry,

and a great many ordinary people

seem to enjoy them in spite of

our classless society.

I imagine they do a great deal

of your stuff on television.

Oh, God forbid. I'd never permit it.

And, uh, incidentally,

it's not "stuff." No.

Television's not my line

of country at all.

That's detective fact,

not detective fiction.

And, therefore,

no recreation for noble minds ?

You have it in a nutshell, my dear Milo,

if I may so address you.

Oh, you might as well. We're all on

first-name terms these days, Andrew.

Of course we are. And you and I do

need to be friendly, do we not ?

How do you like your drink-- with ice ?

With ice ?

Uh, yes, please.

What does he do ?

Oh, that's Jolly Jack Tar,

the jovial sailor.

He and I have a really

splendid relationship.

I make the jokes,

and he laughs at them.

Here, mein Freund. Put

that behind your necktie.

- He didn't laugh.

- No, he wasn't meant to.

- I thought you were trying to be funny.

- You'll know it when I am.

- I see. Cheers.

- Prost.

- What's this ?

- That is an intensely complicated...

fourth dynasty blocking game called Senat.

I've been studying the thing for months,

but I'm still only a beginner.

I wonder if you'd mind putting

that back. It's taken me rather

a long time to get it there.

The center column,

fourth from your right.

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Anthony Shaffer

All Anthony Shaffer scripts | Anthony Shaffer Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Sleuth" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.