7.0/10
9,414
55 user 40 critic

Deathtrap (1982)

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A year after Sheila is killed in a hit-and-run, her multi-millionaire husband invites a group of friends to spend a week on his yacht playing a scavenger hunt-style mystery game. The game turns out to be all too real and all too deadly.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Richard Benjamin, James Coburn, James Mason
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A washed up, alcoholic actress who is prone to blackouts wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she kill him and, if not, is she in danger?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy
The Offence (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A burned-out British police detective finally snaps while interrogating a suspected child molester.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant
The Verdict (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden
Equus (1977)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Colin Blakely
Certificate: GP Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam
Critical Care (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick, Helen Mirren
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A newly elected district attorney finds himself in the middle of a police corruption investigation that may involve his father and his partner.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss, Lena Olin
Power (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Pete St. John is a powerful and successful political consultant, with clients spread around the country. When his long-time friend and client, Ohio senator Sam Hastings, decides to quit ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Richard Gere, Julie Christie, Gene Hackman
Sleuth (1972)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A TV producer who is the mistress of her boss, tries to have him make their relationship more permanent, and begins a relationship with a younger man. When her boss hears of this, he tries ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Ali MacGraw, Alan King, Myrna Loy
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Stewart Klein
Jeffrey Lyons ...
Jeffrey Lyons
...
Joel Siegel
...
Stage Newsboy
Jayne Heller ...
Stage Actress
George Peck ...
Stage Actor
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The trap is set... for a wickedly funny who'll-do-it. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ira Levin's Deathtrap  »

Box Office

Gross:

$17,385,291 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jenny Lumet (Stage Newsboy) is the daughter of the director Sidney Lumet. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Hellcats (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
How To Build A Better Deathtrap
6 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Unlike Tinseltown's version of HELLO, DOLLY!, Jay Presson Allen's screen adaptation of Ira Levin's hit Broadway thriller couldn't wait for it's stage incarnation to shutter before putting it up on the silver screen, so producers wisely decided to make the most of it's lengthy White Way run! The film's opening and closing scenes are shot inside New York's intimate Music Box Theater where DEATHTRAP played for nearly five years. Even the film's final fadeout on the theatre marquee is a version of the stageplay's famous logo. (Although marketeers decided to go with a more fun Rubik's Cube icon for the movie.)

Now on a low-priced DVD release, DEATHTRAP seems just as fresh and inventinve as ever. The cast is just right (better than their stage counterparts) and location scouts should be applauded for finding a suitably spooky house for our "one room, two act thriller" to take place in. Opened up in surprisingly simple and innovative ways, director Sidney Lumet wisely tags any "new" material onto the beginning and end of the film and leaves Levin's wickedly twisty center alone.

The film's last scene is a major Hollywood departure from the boards, and slightly undermines one of Levin's plot points from earlier in the film [Helga (about a dagger): "Will be used by another woman BECAUSE of play."]. Like Robert Altman's THE PLAYER, however, our new finale helps the film fold in on itself once again and blurs the lines between stage, screen, and (could it be?) real life!


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?