7.0/10
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Deathtrap (1982)

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

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)

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6 nominations. See more awards »
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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
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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:

When a man has murder on his mind be sure you don't fall into a...Deathtrap. [Video] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Lumet was hired to direct this film due to his previous work on 12 Angry Men (1957), Child's Play (1972) and Murder on the Orient Express (1974). 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 Frasier: Deathtrap (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
needs more tension
6 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) is a struggling playwright. His latest Broadway play is a critical flop. He retreats to his Long Island home with his wife Myra (Dyan Cannon). He has a copy of a play called Deathtrap written by his student Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve). He's bitterly jealous. She wants him to produce it. The question is would he kill for a new play. He invites Clifford to the remote house and bring the original drafts. The discussion breaks down and Clifford wants to send copies of the play to various agents.

There is a bit of tension with Clifford in handcuffs. The story meanders after that. It needs to build on that tension. Then comes the twists. The twists are fine but I need more tension. Sidney Lumet may be more concerned about the kiss which is not so shocking nowadays. This may work better as a play. There are some fair back and forth in the last act but I don't care about which ever way it could turn out.


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