Insurance executive John Forbes falls for femme fatale Mona Stevens while her boyfriend is in jail and he suffers serious consequences as a result.


(as Andre de Toth)


(novel), (screen play)

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Complete credited cast:
J.B. MacDonald
District Attorney
Bill Smiley
Ed Brawley
Margaret Wells ...
Desk Sergeant (as Dick Wassel)


John Forbes is a family man who's tired of the 9 to 5 humdrum of his job an insurance company executive. Life gets a little more exciting for him when he calls upon femme fatale Mona Stevens. Her boyfriend has embezzled from a store insured by Forbes' company and has showered her with gifts using the loot. Forbes comes to collect the ill-gotten gifts, but the boyfriend is in jail, and Forbes falls hard for Mona and begins an affair. The only problem is that MacDonald, a private dick who freelances for the insurance company, has had his eyes on Mona first. The obsessed MacDonald turns the soon-to-be-released boyfriend against Forbes. Written by Martin Lewison <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her love was Pitfall... to the only man she didn't want to hurt... See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 August 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caminho da Tentação  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John's personal car is a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe convertible coupe. This was the top-of-the-line model. Fully restored, this car could be worth $40-60,000 in 2016. See more »


When John goes to Mona's apartment, he walks up the stairs, and at the top there is a window into her kitchen and the apartment door. However, in the next shot from inside her apartment when John pushes her door open, we can see the arrangement and alignment of the hallway and stairway has changed, and the railing of the stairs is different as well. See more »


Mona Stevens: You're funny.
John Forbes: How?
Mona Stevens: You're not at all like the man who walked in here yesterday.
John Forbes: Well, from the way you described the man who walked in here yesterday, I'd say anything was an improvement.
Mona Stevens: Maybe that's what I meant.
See more »


Träume (Dreams): Wesendonck Lieder No.5
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Louis Forbes
See more »

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User Reviews

Dick Powell's mid-life crisis
12 August 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Pitfall is about precisely that. Forty something insurance man Dick Powell is getting restless. He's seemingly achieved the American dream, wife, kid, nice home and car. And the nice wife is played by Jane Wyatt who was using this film to warm up for the queen of nice wives in the Fifties as Betty Anderson in Father Knows Best.

Powell is brought a report on a claim that one of the hired investigators Raymond Burr has. Byron Barr has embezzled money that Powell's insurance company is covering. Barr has spent the money lavishly on presents for Lizabeth Scott. Powell has to check this one out for himself. Of course he meets Lizabeth Scott and nature takes its course. Barr mean time is serving time in jail and Raymond Burr has decided to stake out Ms. Scott for himself. Or maybe the right word is stalk.

So we've got Barr serving, Burr stalking, Powell cheating, what's this Lizabeth Scott got to get all these guys hormones working in overdrive?

My description of Pitfall may have been flip up to now, but it really is a fine drama with no real heroes in it, except maybe Jane Wyatt. The best performance in Pitfall goes to Raymond Burr who is really a malevolent figure with his obsession about Scott.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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