A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
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, marriage, and her developing symptoms. The asylum staff are not demonized, but fear, ignorance and regimentation keep Virginia in a state of misery, as pipesmoking 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 <email@example.com>
Ads during the film's initial run warned parents that the film might not be suitable for children. New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther seconded that opinion and in one column suggested the film only be shown in smaller theatres. Fox did not follow his advice. See more »
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 »
Dr. Jonathan Gifford:
Now now, doctor, we're not trying to minimize the importance of the treatment you're giving your patient.
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.
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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Firstly I must say that I still find it hard to believe that Olivia de Havilland did not win the Academy Award for her performance in this film. It was a tour-de-force achievement by her in what was an extremely demanding and difficult role. As Virginia Cunningham, she had to go through many stages of depression, temporary loss of sanity, learning of her horrible environment, and gradual recovery - and each of these phases was performed with sheer brilliance and has been underrated by the critics in many cases. The supporting cast of Mark Stevens, Celeste Holm and Leo Genn were excellent but certainly were over-shadowed by the star. The scene where all the patients were at the dance, and an inmate sang "Going Home" was extremely poignant. For this film to be made at that time was a triumph for Darryl F. Zanuck.
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