Undeterred by the resistance to translation from the stage of Sleuth and its parlour murder game, Michael Caine tries again, this time as a harassed Broadway playwright, a one-time master of the mystery thriller now driven to plot murder as a way of getting round his writer's block. Beautifully played (especially by Cannon, listening with increasing unease as her husband expounds his death trap), this adaptation of Ira Levin's play is witty, edgy and teasingly compelling until about the end of act one. Then, with the ingenious groundwork laid, all reality is tossed overboard as the multiplication of Chinese boxes begins, revealing murder within murder, play within play. Turned into puppets arbitrarily shunted round at the service of a plot much too clever for its own good, the characters are soon creaking as loudly as the stage machinery.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jay Presson Allen|