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The Snake Pit (1948)

 -  Drama  -  13 November 1948 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 3,993 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 18 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Snake Pit (1948)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mark Stevens ...
Robert Cunningham
...
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Snake Pit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, writer Arthur Laurents said that he had been hired by director Anatole Litvak to rewrite the first draft of the screenplay by Frank Partos and Millen Brand, which he did. Partos and Brand wanted the WGA to rule that they were the only writers and to delete Laurents' credit, so they submitted the script to an arbitration and presented carbon copies of Laurents' work as their own. The WGA removed Laurents' credit, even though several years later Brand admitted to Laurents that he and Partos had created forged carbons to make Laurents' work look like theirs. 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

Mrs. Greer: Good afternoon, my dear. I don't think I've had the pleasure of seeing you here before.
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: I'm Virginia Cunningham. I came from Five.
Mrs. Greer: Nobody comes to One from Five. Even I had to spend a few days in Two before coming here. And I, my dear, have money.
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: That must be convenient.
Mrs. Greer: My husband, Mr. Greer, is very wealthy. I have more jewels than I can possibly wear. You, of course, are a charity patient?
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: Oh, no. It so happens that my husband, Mr. Cunningham, is very wealthy. My diamonds simply weigh me ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dancing in the Dark (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Paducah
(1943) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A difficult subject treated & acted brilliantly.
2 July 2004 | by (Adelaide Australia) – See all my reviews

Firstly I must say that I still find it hard to believe that Olivia de Havilland did not win the Academy Award for her performance in this film. It was a tour-de-force achievement by her in what was an extremely demanding and difficult role. As Virginia Cunningham, she had to go through many stages of depression, temporary loss of sanity, learning of her horrible environment, and gradual recovery - and each of these phases was performed with sheer brilliance and has been underrated by the critics in many cases. The supporting cast of Mark Stevens, Celeste Holm and Leo Genn were excellent but certainly were over-shadowed by the star. The scene where all the patients were at the dance, and an inmate sang "Going Home" was extremely poignant. For this film to be made at that time was a triumph for Darryl F. Zanuck.


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