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Deathtrap (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  19 March 1982 (USA)
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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


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

Did You Know?


For playing Myra Bruhl in the play 'Deathtrap' on the New York stage, actress Marian Seldes was nominated for the 1978 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. In this movie version, Myra Bruhl was played by Dyan Cannon. Seldes became famous for playing Myra for the entire run of 'Deathtrap's' Broadway season of 1793 performances, never missing a show. According to the 8 June 1982 edition of 'The New York Times', Seldes "won a listing in the next edition of the 'Guinness World Book of Records' as 'most durable actress'". Seldes apparently held this record for a time before the record was eventually beaten. 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 »


References The Merv Griffin Show (1962) 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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