7.6/10
6,905
76 user 43 critic

The Snake Pit (1948)

Not Rated | | Drama, Mystery | 13 November 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
A detailed chronicle of a woman during her stay in a mental institution.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Frank Partos (screen play), Millen Brand (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia de Havilland ... Virginia Stuart Cunningham
Mark Stevens ... Robert Cunningham
Leo Genn ... Dr. Mark Kik
Celeste Holm ... Grace
Glenn Langan ... Dr. Terry
Helen Craig ... Nurse Davis
Leif Erickson ... Gordon
Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Greer
Lee Patrick ... Asylum Inmate
Howard Freeman ... Dr. Curtis
Natalie Schafer ... Mrs. Stuart
Ruth Donnelly ... Ruth
Katherine Locke ... Margaret
Frank Conroy ... Dr. Jonathan Gifford
Minna Gombell ... Miss Hart
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Storyline

Virginia Cunningham finds herself in a state insane asylum...and can't remember how she got there. In flashback, her husband Robert relates their courtship, their marriage, and her developing symptoms. The asylum staff are not demonized, but fear, ignorance, and regimentation keep Virginia in a state of misery as pipe-smoking Dr. Mark Kik struggles through wheels within wheels to find the root of her problem. Then a relapse plunges Virginia back into the harrowing 'Snake Pit'. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Married and in Love . . . with a Man She Didn't Know or Want!

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Snake Pit compelled 13 states to change their laws concerning mental health issues following the film's release. See more »

Goofs

When Virginia rushes into a vacant room in the sanitarium to hide, she slams the door, causing the door frame and adjoining wall to shake visibly. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jonathan Gifford: Now now, doctor, we're not trying to minimize the importance of the treatment you're giving your patient.
Dr. Curtis: The trouble is for you each case is 'the one,' and for us it's one of thousands.
Doctor Mark Kik: Yes, Curtis, one of thousands, even millions. But only by trying to make each case 'the one' can we really help the patient.
Dr. Curtis: I happen to have here some of the more recent statistics. Ah yes, here they are. Sometimes even we doctors must face reality.
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Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #11.1 (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Goin' Home
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
from Second Movement (Largo) in Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178 (1893)
Lyrics by William Arms Fisher (1922)
Sung by Jan Clayton and also played at the end
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User Reviews

fANTASTIC REALISTIC MOVIE
11 January 2003 | by virobSee all my reviews

The beginning of this movie has Virginia Cunningham sitting on bench but her not knowing where she is. She soon finds out that she is in a mental hospital. She doesn't know why she's there. She doesn't even know her husband when he appears. The only allegiance she can form is with Dr.Kik,who she trusts. This is a time when mental patients were treated horribly. May 6th seems to be the underlying problem with her mental condition. Everyone she lost seems to revolve around this date, and on the out side, she gets completely paranoid when she knows this date is coming. Through Dr. Kik's compassion and shock treatments & psychotherapy, she gets to understand why she became ill. But,that's the beginning and end of the picture. What happens in the middle(all contained in the hospital) is a memorable performance given by Olvia DeHavilland, the treatment she gets, the other patients, the nurses,the darkness of the hospital all add up to, I think one of the best movies made.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

13 November 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snake Pit See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,000,000
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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