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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

John's personal car is a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe convertible coupe. This was the top-of-the-line model. Fully restored, this car could be worth $40-60,000 in 2016. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, Dick Powell wanders the sidewalks throughout much of the night and into the morning. When he goes to his office, he is is unshaven. Later that morning, when his wife picks him up from the police station, Powell appears clean shaven. 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

 
Sordid proto-noir, like In a Lonely Place, but far better...
6 November 2011 | by S_Craig_ZahlerSee all my reviews

Do not read a synopsis of this film-- I am not writing one-- a lot of the effect is achieved through the surprising trajectory of the movie, which is an excellent proto-noir piece.

The performances are good, and never has Dick Powell been better. I think of this guy in terms of Busby Berkley musicals and the excellent Sturges comedy Christmas in July, but here he turns in a subtle and believable performance that is fresh and modern and far more REAL than many of his contemporaries. This is the kind of thing you'd expect from Bogart or Aldo Ray and I was impressed by his work and the daring piece overall.

It is amazing how much edgier mainstream Hollywood movie were once allowed to be--- nothing like this is coming out as a major release these days.

Striking and authentic.

(I saw a 35mm print of the movie at Anthology Film Archives, N.Y.)


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