IMDb > The Snake Pit (1948)
The Snake Pit
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The Snake Pit (1948) More at IMDbPro »

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The Snake Pit -- Trailer for this heart-stirring dramatic thunderbolt


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Popularity: ?
Down 72% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Partos (screen play) and
Millen Brand (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Snake Pit on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 November 1948 (USA) See more »
Married and in Love . . . with a Man She Didn't Know or Want!
A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 10 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
....a ground-breaking film.... See more (65 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Olivia de Havilland ... Virginia Stuart Cunningham

Mark Stevens ... Robert Cunningham

Leo Genn ... Dr. Mark Kik

Celeste Holm ... Grace

Glenn Langan ... Dr. Terry
Helen Craig ... Nurse Davis

Leif Erickson ... Gordon

Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Greer

Lee Patrick ... Asylum Inmate

Howard Freeman ... Dr. Curtis

Natalie Schafer ... Mrs. Stuart

Ruth Donnelly ... Ruth
Katherine Locke ... Margaret
Frank Conroy ... Dr. Jonathan Gifford

Minna Gombell ... Miss Hart

June Storey ... Miss Bixby
Lora Lee Michel ... Virginia - Age 6

Damian O'Flynn ... Mr. Stuart

Ann Doran ... Valerie
Esther Somers ... Nurse Vance

Jacqueline deWit ... Celia Sommerville

Betsy Blair ... Hester
Lela Bliss ... Miss Greene
Queenie Smith ... Lola
Virginia Brissac ... Miss Seiffert

Grayce Hampton ... Inmate Countess

Dorothy Neumann ... Champion - Miss Neumann

Jan Clayton ... Singing Inmate
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vicky Albright ... Virginia - Age 2 (uncredited)
Jean Andren ... Nurse (uncredited)
Sylvia Andrew ... Patient (uncredited)
Phil Arnold ... Bald Man (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Patient (uncredited)

Bobby Barber ... Lola's Husband (uncredited)
Vangie Beilby ... Patient (uncredited)

George Beranger ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Marie Blake ... Patient Awaiting Staff (uncredited)
Margaret Brayton ... Staff Room Nurse (uncredited)

Bobby Burns ... Inmate at Dance Social (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Shooting Gallery Proprietor (uncredited)
Angela Clarke ... Greek Patient (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Nurse (uncredited)

G. Pat Collins ... Attendant (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Opera Attendant (uncredited)
Harold Cornsweet ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Ashley Cowan ... Tommy (uncredited)
Jane Crowley ... Patient (uncredited)
Irene Dehn ... Nurse (uncredited)
Janna DeLoos ... Stenographer Nurse (uncredited)
Forrest Dickson ... Counterwoman (uncredited)
Bill Duray ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Marjorie Eaton ... Patient (uncredited)
Mary Emery ... Patient (uncredited)

Ben Erway ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mabel Forrest ... Patient (uncredited)
Joel Friedkin ... Doctor (uncredited)
Geraldine Garrick ... Patient (uncredited)
Nina Gilbert ... Patient (uncredited)
Donna Hamilton ... Patient (uncredited)

Alvin Hammer ... Patient (uncredited)

Edna Holland ... Elderly Nurse (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Inmate at Dance Social (uncredited)

Victoria Horne ... Ward 33 Inmate (uncredited)
Bee Humphries ... Emma (uncredited)

Isabel Jewell ... Ward 33 Inmate (uncredited)
Larry Johns ... Minister (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Inmate (uncredited)
Geraldine Jordan ... Patient (uncredited)
Leo Kaye ... Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Doris Kemper ... Patient (uncredited)
Kate Drain Lawson ... Cafe Cashier (uncredited)

Babe London ... Attendant (uncredited)

Louise Lorimer ... Nurse (uncredited)

Celia Lovsky ... Inmate Gertrude (uncredited)
Ellen Lowe ... Patient (uncredited)

George Lynn ... Doctor (uncredited)
Therese Lyon ... Patient (uncredited)
Patricia Marlowe ... Practical Nurse (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Tommy's Mother (uncredited)
Marion Marshall ... Young Girl (uncredited)
Mira McKinney ... Patient (uncredited)
Doro Merande ... Inmate, First Lady of the Land (uncredited)

Jerry Miley ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Belle Mitchell ... Inmate (uncredited)
Eula Morgan ... Attendant (uncredited)
Harry Hays Morgan ... Doctor (uncredited)

Frances Morris ... Patient (uncredited)
Mary Newton ... Patient (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ... Miss Primm - Hospital Dining Room Waitress (uncredited)
Inez Palange ... Italian Patient (uncredited)

Barbara Pepper ... Patient (uncredited)
Wanda Perry ... Nurse (uncredited)
Rose Plumer ... Inmate (uncredited)
Grace Poggi ... Asylum Inmate (uncredited)
Louise Robinson ... Husky Nurse (uncredited)

Carol Savage ... Maxine (uncredited)

Syd Saylor ... Inmate Wearing Visor at Dance (uncredited)
Helen Servis ... Inmate Miss Servis (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Dr. Sommer (uncredited)
Tamara Shayne ... Ward 33 Inmate (uncredited)
Sally Shepherd ... Nurse (uncredited)
Ann Staunton ... Nurse (uncredited)
Mary Tarcai ... Nurse Jenkins (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Doctor (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Mother (uncredited)

Mary Treen ... Nurse Jones (uncredited)

Minerva Urecal ... Ward 33 Inmate (uncredited)
Dorothy Vaughan ... Bossy Ward 12 Inmate (uncredited)
Eleanore Vogel ... Patient (uncredited)
Basil Walker ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Ruth Warren ... Patient (uncredited)
Claire Whitney ... Inmate (uncredited)

Robert Williams ... Orderly - Dance Social Emcee (uncredited)
Isabel Withers ... Nurse Johnson (uncredited)

Directed by
Anatole Litvak 
Writing credits
Frank Partos (screen play) and
Millen Brand (screen play)

Mary Jane Ward (based on the novel by)

Arthur Laurents  contributor to screenplay construction (uncredited)

Produced by
Robert Bassler .... producer
Anatole Litvak .... producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Alfred Newman 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Dorothy Spencer (film editor)
Art Direction by
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
Joseph C. Wright 
Set Decoration by
Ernest Lansing (set decorations)
Thomas Little 
Costume Design by
Bonnie Cashin (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Esperanza Corona .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Ernie Parks .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Raymond A. Klune .... production manager (uncredited)
Ben Silvey .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Silver .... assistant director (uncredited)
Henry Weinberger .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound (as Arthur L. Kirbach)
Thomas T. Moulton .... sound director (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Henry Gerzen .... grip (uncredited)
Roger Shearman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Anthony Ugrin .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestral arrangements (as Edward Powell)
Alfred Newman .... musical director (uncredited)
Other crew
Darryl F. Zanuck .... presenter
Carl A. Binger .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
Jerry Bryan .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Alma Margaret Comer .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
M. Ralph Kaufman .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
John N. Rosen .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
Ernst Simmel .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
Norman Stuart .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Sidney Loseff Tamarin .... psychiatric technical advisor (uncredited)
Mary Jane Ward .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:16 | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | France:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (cut) (theatrical) | UK:12 (DVD rating) (2004) | USA:Approved (PCA #12490) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Gene Tierney was the first choice to star but dropped out due to her pregnancy.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Robert Cunningham:Tell me what have you been doing all these months?
Virginia Stuart Cunningham:Working 18 hours a day and being lonely 24.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Big Time Operators (1957)See more »
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, 4th movementSee more »


What does the title 'The Snake Pit' mean?
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What is 'The Snake Pit' about?
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41 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
....a ground-breaking film...., 5 July 1999
Author: Michael Bragg ( from San Francisco, California

Considered brutal and scary in the day of its initial release, "The Snake Pit" was a ground-breaking film with its look into the horrors of a mental institution. Giving the film its vibrancy and life is the elegant Olivia De Havilland. This fine actress goes to town in this fascinating portrait of a young woman, Virginia Stuart, who, soon after marriage to the handsome Robert Cunningham (Mark Stevens) , descends into a world of paranoia and insanity. He takes her to an institution, but conditions there are foreign to Virginia. This Hollywoodization of life in a mental hospital, though tame compared to reality, still packs a punch. We follow this delusional woman as she tries to come to grips with where she is, falls in love with her kind-hearted doctor, Mark Kirk (Leo Genn), befriends other patients, and tries to hide out in the hospital. Celeste Holm has a minor, but welcome role as Grace, a fellow patient who takes a liking to and protects the confused Virginia.

What a score for the lovely De Havilland! She really gets to show her stuff in this emotional role, and got an Oscar-nomination for her efforts. And kudos to director Anatole Litvak for a wonderful, but hard-to-take visit into a woman's not-all-there mind and her institutionalized world.

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