MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 766 this week

The Snake Pit (1948)

 -  Drama  -  13 November 1948 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,144 users  
Reviews: 62 user | 18 critic

A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Live Chat with Keanu Reeves

We conducted a Live Chat with Keanu about his upcoming film John Wick.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 23 Nov 2011
 
a list of 38 titles
created 13 Jun 2013
 
list image
a list of 45 titles
created 08 Sep 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 45 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Snake Pit" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Snake Pit (1948)

The Snake Pit (1948) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Snake Pit.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Heiress (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Whilst on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a plot for murder and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A doctor treats a woman suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As the US Army approaches Nazi Germany, they recruit German prisoners to spy behind German lines.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Richard Basehart, Gary Merrill, Oskar Werner
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Joan Fisk, daughter of the American ambassador to France, is bored with entertaining the wives of visiting V.I.P.s and decides to conduct an experiment. She accepts a date with an American ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Krasna
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Forsythe, Myrna Loy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Quick-tempered but likable Biff grimes falls big for beautiful Virginia Brush, but he's not the only young man in the neighborhood who's smitten.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Brooklyn, fishing is the hobby of the workers Jonah Goodwin and Olaf Johnson and they use to fish every night in their old boat. Jonah's daughter is the twenty-one year-old telephone ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands: but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man and a woman fight over the last bottle of champagne left in San Francisco--she wants it for a wedding, and he wants to use it to christen a ship.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Ray Milland, Sonny Tufts
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mark Stevens ...
...
Dr. Mark Kik
...
Grace
Glenn Langan ...
Dr. Terry
Helen Craig ...
Nurse Davis
...
Gordon
...
Mrs. Greer
Lee Patrick ...
Asylum Inmate
...
Dr. Curtis
...
Mrs. Stuart
Ruth Donnelly ...
Ruth
Katherine Locke ...
Margaret
Frank Conroy ...
Dr. Jonathan Gifford
Minna Gombell ...
Miss Hart
Edit

Storyline

Virginia Cunningham finds herself in a state insane asylum...and can't remember how she got there. In flashback, her husband Robert relates their courtship, marriage, and her developing symptoms. The asylum staff are not demonized, but fear, ignorance and regimentation keep Virginia in a state of misery, as pipesmoking Dr. Mark Kik struggles through wheels within wheels to find the root of her problem. Then a relapse plunges Virginia back into the harrowing 'Snake Pit'... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Married and in Love . . . with a Man She Didn't Know or Want!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Schlangengrube  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Anatole Litvak insisted that the cast and crew spend three months visiting mental institutions and attending psychiatric lectures to prepare themselves for the film. Olivia de Havilland willingly threw herself into the research. She attended patient treatments at the institutions, and observed electric shock therapy and hydrotherapy first-hand. When permitted, she sat in on doctor-patient therapy sessions. She also attended social events for patients at the institutions. After seeing the film, a "Daily Variety" columnist questioned whether any mental institution would really allow violent inmates to dance with each other at a social event. De Havilland personally called the columnist to confirm that she had attended several such dances at institutions. See more »

Goofs

After the young Virginia smashes the head of the soldier doll (that reminds her of her father)into several pieces, she is later seen carrying the unbroken doll on the night of her father's death. The intact doll again appears in the apartment that she lives in as an adult. See more »

Quotes

Virginia Stuart Cunningham: It was strange, here I was among all those people, and at the same time I felt as if I were looking at them from some place far away, the whole place seemed to me like a deep hole and the people down in it like strange animals, like... like snakes, and I've been thrown into it... yes... as though... as though I were in a snake pit...
Doctor Mark Kik: A snake pit?
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: Later, weeks later, I understood. I remembered once reading in a book that long ago they used to put insane people into pits full of snakes. I think ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Lyrics by Kenneth Casey
Sung a cappella and danced by Bee Humphries in the recreation area
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Breakdown
22 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Hollywood in the forties was not exactly ready to deal with subjects such as the one depicted in "The Snake Pit". It must have taken a lot of courage to get this project started since it dealt with a serious problem of mental illness, something not mentioned in good company, let alone in a film that took the viewer into the despair the protagonist is experiencing.

Anatole Litvak, the director, got a tremendous performance from its star Olivia de Havilland. If there was anyone to portrait Virginia Stuart Cunningham, Ms. de Havilland was the right choice for it. The actress is the main reason for watching the movie, even after all these years.

The director was responsible for the realistic way in which this drama plays on screen. The scenes in the asylum are heart wrenching, especially the electro shock treatments Virginia undergoes. At the end, the kind Dr. Kik discovers a deeply rooted problem in Virginia's mind that was the cause for what she was experiencing.

Leo Genn is the other notable presence in the film playing Dr. Kik. He makes the best out of his role and plays well against the sickly woman he has taken an interest in helping. Mark Stevens is seen as Virginia's husband, the man that stood by his wife all the time. In smaller roles we see Lee Patrick, Natalie Schafer, Leif Erickson and Celeste Holm, and Betsy Blair.

"The Snake Pit" is a document about mental illness treated with frankness by Anatole Litvak and his team.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are there asylums still like this? sunznc
Whether the song fit or did not... Felonious-Punk
The Rug Scene ravan729
Soldier Doll - Goof Blondfashionisto
why was Olivia robbed? darlakarla
Kristen Wiig cojacobson
Discuss The Snake Pit (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?