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The Deadly Trap (1971)

La maison sous les arbres (original title)
PG | | Thriller | 9 June 1971 (France)
Jill is surprised and angry when her computer-genius boyfriend decides to quit his job in a big company for unclear reasons. But when her children disapear mysteriously and seem to have ... See full summary »

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(scenario) (as Sydney Buchman), (scenario) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jill
...
Philippe
...
Cynthia
Karen Blanguernon ...
Miss Hansen
Raymond Gérôme ...
Commissaire Chameille
...
L'homme de l'organisation
Michele Lourie ...
Cathy (as Michèle Lourie)
Patrick Vincent ...
Patrick
...
Le psychiatre
Louise Chevalier
Tener Eckelberry
Massimo Farinelli
Robert Lussac
Franco Ressel
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Storyline

Jill is surprised and angry when her computer-genius boyfriend decides to quit his job in a big company for unclear reasons. But when her children disapear mysteriously and seem to have been kidnapped, she wants to know more, and discovers that she may be caught in a DEADLY TRAP... Written by Matthieu Navarro <navarro@club-internet.fr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The FEAR of the unknown...The AGONY Of A kidnapped child...And the CREEPING DREAD of madness! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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|

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Deadly Trap  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fairly interesting French thriller delivered in a minor key
2 January 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

It should be said from the outset that the title Death Scream is not really very appropriate in describing this film. It's a much more low-key thriller than that pulpy title suggests. It was directed by the French film-maker René Clément, who had made a name for himself with Purple Noon (1960). It seems that the success with that film – the first screen version of Patricia Highsmith's character Ripley – led him to be called the French Hitchcock and resulted in him making a series of thrillers from then up until his final film in 1975. It seems the critics weren't very kind about his latter films, an opinion I disagree with. His final film Wanted: Babysitter (1975) is a very under-rated and effective film, while Death Scream is another that can hardly be described as terrible either. In fairness, it's the least successful Clément film I have seen but it still has something to offer.

It's an English language French movie starring Faye Dunaway and Frank Langella. They play an American married couple living in Paris. They are in the midst of martial problems; he is highly secretive, while she is going through a nervous breakdown. To complicate matters, Langella is an industrial spy who retires from his job to the annoyance of his paymasters. Meanwhile, Dunaway's fragile psychological temperament leads to various problems, culminating with the couple's children mysteriously disappearing while out with her in the city. All the time in the background, there is talk of an enigmatic group called 'the organisation' who threatens the family.

It's not the most dynamic of thrillers in truth and it is a little slow-paced. It could also have ramped up the suspense a bit as well. But Dunaway and Langella are good actors and the Parisian setting does offer an attractive backdrop to events. The story has just enough intrigue to keep the viewer engaged and it ultimately amounts to a good enough film, if a relatively minor one.


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