Without a Clue (1988)
One reason to love British actors is that they regard their work as work, not some mystical, shamanistic exercise. Take Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. By 1988, both had won Oscars, yet they willingly lent their considerable prestige to the silly, revisionist Sherlock Holmes farce, Without a Clue. And while they won't make you forget Laurel and Hardy, Caine and Kingsley (which actually has a nice comedy-team ring to it) have a ball as, respectively, Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. John Watson. Or rather, Reginald Kincaid and Dr. John Watson, the former a drunken ham actor whom the latter, a respected physician turned detective-story writer, has hired to impersonate his brilliant character, what with folks flocking 221B Baker St. anxious to meet and even hire the world-famous consulting detective. The shrewd Watson sees that there's money to be made and books to be sold out of the scam, as long as he can keep the dimwitted "Holmes" from ruining everything. The combination of Caine's boozy blockhead and Kingsley's exasperated fusspot gives a funny new twist to the Holmes canon. Look for the greatest English comedian of his generation, Peter Cook, in the small role of Greenhough.