Wealthy, retired judge Justin Playfair (George C. Scott, The Day of the Dolphin, The Hustler) has a most peculiar eccentricity: he believes he is Sherlock Holmes. Betrayed by his scheming brother, “Holmes” comes under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Mildred Watson (Joanne Woodward, The Three Faces of Eve, Paris Blues). As Watson follows Holmes through Manhattan on a search for his elusive nemesis Moriarty, the unlikely pair are drawn into a world of danger and intrigue. Together, they discover an uncommon reality—and a most magical love. Three years after the film The Lion in Winter, director Anthony Harvey (Grace Quigley) and screenwriter/playwright James Goldman (Robin and Marian) reunited for this classic romantic comedy. The amazing cast includes Jack Gilford (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Al Lewis (TV’s The Munsters), Rue McClanahan (TV’s The Golden Girls), Kitty Winn (The Panic in Needle Park), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) and M. Emmet Walsh (Blood Simple). They Might Be Giants is presented in a special expanded version, featuring additional footage not seen in the original theatrical release.
As embodied by Alan Bates, Butley falls back on the surgically precise wit and savage eloquence that helped put him in his current circumstances in the first place. The blitzkrieg of vitriolic commentary with which Butley engages lovers, students, rivals, and allies, all with equal ferocity, becomes a glass bottom boat illuminating the churning depths of his bankrupted soul. Acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter, in what Time Magazine hailed as “a quite superior directorial debut,” turns author Simon Gray’s single-set, dialogue driven stage play into an irresistible dynamic visual experience that tracks Bates’ hilarious and fearless performance with cunning precision.
Bates and an expert supporting cast, including OscarÃ‚Â® winner Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy), joust with a sly, self-referencing wit and an unselfconscious exuberance that is breathtaking. With every verbal parry and valedictory flourish of wordplay, Butley’s life becomes more of an inescapable bear trap of thwarted ambition, clandestine affection, and squandered brilliance.