Deathtrap (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery  |  19 March 1982 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 8,601 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 52 user | 41 critic | 8 from

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



(play), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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 Verdict (1982)
    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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 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
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman
Daniel (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The fictionalized story of Daniel, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed as Soviet spies in the 1950s.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Lindsay Crouse
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A female lawyer takes an accused wife-murderer as a client, but finds herself morally compelled to betray him one way or another.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Don Johnson, Stephen Lang
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion
The Novena (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Bernard Émond
Stars: Elise Guilbault, Patrick Drolet, Marie-Josée Bastien
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Marcel, recently released from prison, attempt to rebuild his relationship with his girlfriend Julie (now a prostitute) and especially his father Albert (who thinks he's been away on a long... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Claude Lauzon
Stars: Gilles Maheu, Roger Lebel, Corrado Mastropasqua
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wife of photographer J.A. Martin decides to go with him in his tour of the hard Canadian countryside at the turn of the century. She hopes the intimacy will revive their marriage.

Director: Jean Beaudin
Stars: Marcel Sabourin, Monique Mercure, Marthe Thierry


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


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


Michael Caine once said of this movie: "We all swore an oath in blood - well, perhaps it was chablis - not to spoil the fun by running off at the mouth. This thing has more twists than the Grand Corniche. And there is nothing worse than seeing a mystery after some twit has told you the butler did it. That's hypothetical, of course. There's no butler in 'Deathtrap'. We're very democratic that way." 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 Donahue (1967) 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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
giant wheels in the ceiling jerkatron
Widescreen? Andy-362
How did the play end? Arseweb
Woah! Christopher Reeve shirtless in this movie! Outer_Heaven
'Hi, Mr. Bruhl' Komarovski
was this a deleted scene??? angellvr123
Discuss Deathtrap (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: