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Saturday May 18th 2024

Sleuth | 1972

Sleuth location: Athelhampton House, Dorset
Sleuth location: Laurence Olivier's country estate: Athelhampton House, Dorset | Photograph: Wikimedia / MilborneOne

Trust nothing in this adaptation of Anthony Shaffer's acclaimed stage thriller. OK, it remains a little stagey, but it's a twisting treat as Shaffer twists the traditional country house murder mystery into a class war showdown. It's a great – if unusual – cast, and Shaffer is the man who wrote The Wicker Man (the original, that is) and the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's 1972 Frenzy.

The country estate of the aristocratic Andrew Wyke (Laurence Olivier) is Athelhampton House and Gardens (although the interior was recreated at Pinewood Studio).

One of England’s finest medieval houses, Athelhampton was built in 1485 on the site of King Athelstan’s palace, and encircled by the River Piddle. It’s about a mile east of Puddletown on the A35 Dorchester-Bournemouth road, Dorset in the West Country, and open to the public.