The plot: Famous mystery writer Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier in the 1972 version) invites his wife Marguerite's lover, a lower-class hairdresser named Milo Tindle (Michael Caine), to his country estate to propose a novel solution to the affair. Marguerite won't leave Wyke's money, Milo lacks the resources to afford her and Wyke wants to get rid of her bills without a costly divorce. Wyke proposes a bit of theater: Tindle would pose as a burglar and steal Marguerite's jewelry, Wyke will use his mystery-writing skills to fool the police and insurance company, and Tindle will walk away with the $170,000 insurance settlement to support Marguerite. All goes as planned until Wyke pulls a gun.
Why it's worthy: Like "The Thomas Crown Affair," this film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play by Anthony Shaffer is a clever cat-and-mouse game with insurance at its core. Unlike the Steve McQueen-Faye Dunaway film, first-time viewers of "Sleuth" have no idea of the wild ride ahead.
Set notes: Director Kenneth Branagh's 2007 remake updates the setting with a high-tech surveillance theme. While it's fun to see Caine inhabit the Wyke role and the ever-menacing Jude Law as Milo, the Harold Pinter screenplay falls short of the original.