7.2/10
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52 user 35 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:

Her love was Pitfall... to the only man she didn't want to hurt... 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:

Pitfall 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 walking by himself at the end of the film, one can see in reflection of a store window the distinctive sign and building of the famous Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant at 1628 Vine St. 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: She probably doesn't appeal to you but for me, she's just what I told the doctor to order.
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

 
Decent little noir about bad men and unfortunate women
26 January 2013 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

There are a number of ways you can look at this movie, but for me it's a film about a nice girl who can't catch a break with guys. The underrated Lizabeth Scott is effective as a nice girl who's too sexy for her own good; she made me think of the famous Jessica Rabbit line, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."

Unfortunately, the men in Lizabeth's life are a psycho stalker, beautifully played with understated menace by Raymond Burr, a cheater having a mid-life crisis, and a jailbird. And my impression is every one of them would blame Lizabeth for their own failings.

Taken with the film's other major female character, who has man problems of her own, this movie thinks little of men (unless they are very young or very old), and pretty highly of women.

For me the standout performances were Burr and Scott, but the funny thing about this movie is that, outside of Burr, no one here at IMDb seems to agree much about who's good and who isn't.

While noir films are associated with the detective genre, what makes something noir is its exploration of the darkness within its characters souls and the awful things people are capable of, and this movie takes that on very effectively. It's not a great movie, but it keeps you interested.


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