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Deathtrap (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  19 March 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 8,460 users   Metascore: 54/100
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A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Irene Worth ...
Joe Silver ...
Tony DiBenedetto ...
Burt - the Bartender
Al LeBreton ...
Handsome Actor
Francis B. Creamer Jr. ...
The Minister (as Rev. Francis B. Creamer Jr.)
Stewart Klein ...
Jeffrey Lyons ...
Stage Newsboy
Jayne Heller ...
Stage Actress
George Peck ...
Stage Actor


To make Sidney's slump all the more painful, Clifford Anderson, a student of one of Sidney's writing seminars, has recently sent his mentor a copy of his first attempt at playwrighting for Sidney's review and advice. The play, "Deathtrap," is a five character, two act thriller so perfect in its construction that, as Sidney says, "A gifted director couldn't even hurt it." Using his penchant for plot, and out of his desperate desire to once again be the toast of Broadway, Sidney, along with Myra, cook up an almost unthinkable scheme: They'll lure the would-be playwright to the Bruhl home, kill him, and market the sure-fire script as Sidney's own. But shortly after Clifford arrives, it's clear that things are not what they seem! Indeed, even Helga Ten Dorp, a nosey psychic from next door, and Porter Milgram, Sidney's observant attorney, can only speculate where the line between truth and deception lies. Written by Craig C. Bailey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Join us for an evening of lively fun...and deadly games. [UK Theatrical] See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ira Levin's Deathtrap  »

Box Office


$17,385,291 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Caine was cast in this film as Sidney Bruhl having previously appeared in the successful related mystery-thriller genre piece, Sleuth (1972) for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award Oscar. Caine also appeared in its remake Sleuth (2007) playing instead the role played by Laurence Olivier in the original. See more »


When Sidney has the Deathtrap script and threatens to throw it into the fireplace, the fire isn't lit. See more »


[first lines]
[the actor on stage delivers an unintelligible line]
First Audience Member: It's the worst play I've ever seen.
Second Audience Member: I can't believe Sidney Bruhl wrote it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Murderous weapons by Eoin Sprott. See more »


Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

The closest thing to modern Hitchcock...
28 January 2002 | by (Deep South) – See all my reviews

No one better spoil this piece of work! Awesome movie! Written expertly by the likes of Ira Levin and depicted with the best performance of Christopher Reeve's career and one of Caine's very best, this is simply excellent. I wish I could catch a staged version somewhere...maybe someday I will. I hope this grossly underrated, overlooked film has not become too difficult to locate because it a 'must' for any Hitchcockian, Agatha-phile or lover of great film. One of very few movies I couldn't instantly solve or predict and worth a second or even third viewing, "Deathtrap" gets a 9/10 and earns every iota of it. We need and deserve more movies like this!

15 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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