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48 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

When John goes to Mona's apartment, he walks up the stairs, and at the top there is a window into her kitchen and the apartment door. However, in the next shot from inside her apartment when John pushes her door open, we can see the arrangement and alignment of the hallway and stairway has changed, and the railing of the stairs is different as well. See more »

Quotes

Mona Stevens: You're funny.
John Forbes: How?
Mona Stevens: You're not at all like the man who walked in here yesterday.
John Forbes: Well, from the way you described the man who walked in here yesterday, I'd say anything was an improvement.
Mona Stevens: Maybe that's what I meant.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Crooked Way (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Manners
Lyrics by Robert Sour
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dick Powell's Fine Noir Edge Hits Mark
29 October 2002 | by sobaokSee all my reviews

I am always amazed at Dick Powell's transition from bouyant singing star into the shadows and uncertainties of noir classics. He's absolutely delightful in the former -- and gives joy and heart to the songs he's given. Confident, good-looking, he seems to be laughing at life. In PITFALL -- it's as if his bubble has been burst -- the "perfect" home, job, family and friends have become simply routine in his mind. By venturing into the world of beautiful loser (as far as men are concerned) Lizbeth Scott -- Powell's wanderlust is satisfied only to find he's opened a "can of worms". Powell, Wyatt, Scott and Raymond Burr are effective and believable -- and the film is paced, photographed, and scripted with intelligence -- so that the viewer easily goes along for the ride. Powell's talent as an actor is underscored here. As his outlook on things changes he redefines "what he's had all along" with an underplayed, yet genuinely felt appreciation. Burr is especially chilling as the obsessed detective sent to get the goods on Lizbeth Scott. Kudos to de Toth.


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