7.2/10
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46 user 34 critic

Pitfall (1948)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 24 August 1948 (USA)
Married insurance adjuster John Forbes falls for femme fatale Mona Stevens while her boyfriend is in jail and all suffer serious consequences as a result.

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

Jay Dratler (novel), Karl Kamb (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dick Powell ... John Forbes
Lizabeth Scott ... Mona Stevens
Jane Wyatt ... Sue Forbes
Raymond Burr ... J.B. MacDonald
John Litel ... District Attorney
Byron Barr ... Bill Smiley
Jimmy Hunt ... Tommy Forbes
Ann Doran ... Maggie
Selmer Jackson ... Ed Brawley
Margaret Wells Margaret Wells ... Terry
Dick Wessel ... Desk Sergeant (as Dick Wassel)
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Storyline

John Forbes is a family man who's jaded with his life, routine and job as an insurance adjuster. Life gets a little more exciting for him when he calls upon femme fatale Mona Stevens whose boyfriend has embezzled from a store insured by Forbes' company and showered her with gifts. Forbes finds Mona through MacDonald, a private detective, who freelances for the insurance company. Forbes goes to collect the ill-gotten gifts with the boyfriend in jail and Forbes falls hard for Mona and begins an affair. The problem is that MacDonald has had his eyes on Mona first and is obsessed with her. MacDonald decides to use the soon-to-be-released boyfriend to deal with Forbes and clear the field for himself. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A man can be as strong as steel...but somewhere there's a woman who'll break him! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caminho da Tentação See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Regal Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When John goes to see Mona at her job, he parks on the street, and in the background is a good shot of the May Company department store on Wilshire Blvd. In 2017 the building is scheduled to re-open as the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning, just after Dick Powell sits down in his office, Raymond Burr starts talking but one part of his speech is an obvious cut with a different recording of his voice between two other cuts. ("Just a kind word, and a pat on the back for a job well done"). See more »

Quotes

J.B. MacDonald: Can't let women interfere with business, can we?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Crooked Way (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Träume (Dreams): Wesendonck Lieder No.5
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Louis Forbes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Where Oh Where Is The DVD?
24 December 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's sad it is now 60 years after this film was released and we still don't have this available on DVD. You even have to pay big bucks to find a used VHS copy. It's "sad" because it is a fine film noir and would make an excellent addition to anyone's noir collection. So many film noirs are now on disc, where is this one??!!

I found you can't go wrong with Dick Powell in a film noir, and Lisabeth Scott certainly ranks among the all-time femme fatales in the genre's history. Add an unlikely pair of actors like Jane Wyatt and Raymond Burr, and Director Andre de Toth and you really have an interesting "old" crime story. "Crime Wave" and "Ramrod," two other fairly unknown-but-excellent hard-bitten noirs were also done by de Toth.

I am always amazed how Powell made such a tremendous career switch from Busby Berkely crooner and romantic to the hard-boiled detective or whatever (a restless insurance agent in here, believe it or not) while Scott seems to have always owned those "loser dame" roles. Between those two and the menacing Burr, who always was that until his Perry Mason TV days, I really enjoying watching this trio.

The film also featured Harry Wild's fine noir photography. Wild was the cinematographer on at least a half dozen film noirs, beginning with "Murder My Sweet" in the beginning of the period, so he knew what he was doing.


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