Without a Clue
(1988)

Sherlock Homes (Michael Caine) is really Reginald Kincaid, a no talent, drunken, out of work actor hired by Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley). As a respectable doctor, Watson thought it would be unseemly for him to be associated with something as sordid as detective work, especially as he had been applying for a prestigious post at the time. So he made up the detective. He didn't get the post but the drunken bum came in handy. The girl Leslie Giles (Lynette Anthony) who shows up is really working for Moriarity (Paul Freeman). The real Leslie is a drag queen from Paris (Matthew Sims). Watson fakes his own death to give him some breathing room to detect, Holmes and Mrs. Hudson (Pat Keen) almost solve it on their own. The plates were not sunk to the bottom of the lake but were warehoused at a closed out theater. The clue "234" on the half printed confederate five-pound note was the address of the theater, not some elaborate reference to a Biblical quote referencing the name of the play that closed down the theater (which Reginald happened to have been in). Both Watson and Holmes over thought  that one. Moriarity blows up with the theater, the plates are recovered, Inspector Lestrade (Jeffrey Jones)  is left flirting with the drag queen (thinking her a real girl) and Holmes tells the fawning journalists that he couldn't have solved the case without the "keen insight and infinite patience" of Dr. Watson, finally getting Watson some of the praise he is really craving. Watson and Holmes decide to continue working together.

Thanks Kathy B!

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