7.6/10
6,399
73 user 40 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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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 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
Learn more

More Like This 

The Heiress (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An unwed mother, forced to give up her child to avoid scandal, follows her son's life from afar even as she prospers in business.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, John Lund, Mary Anderson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Stopped in Mexico by U.S. Immigration, Georges Iscovescu hopes to get into the country by marrying a citizen.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A duchess' irrational behavior toward the governess of her children triggers tragic events that will change her family's lives forever.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ann Richards
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall.

Director: Max Ophüls
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands - but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.

Directors: John Huston, Raoul Walsh
Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, writer Arthur Laurents said that he had been hired by director Anatole Litvak to rewrite the first draft of the screenplay by Frank Partos and Millen Brand, which he did. Partos and Brand wanted the WGA to rule that they were the only writers and to delete Laurents' credit, so they submitted the script to an arbitration and presented carbon copies of Laurents' work as their own. The WGA removed Laurents' credit, even though several years later Brand admitted to Laurents that he and Partos had created forged carbons to make Laurents' work look like theirs. 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

Miss Greene: You get off the rug, Virginia Cunningham! Come on! Come on! Get off of there! I've told you a dozen times we do not walk on our rug.
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: Why not?
Miss Greene: Because we don't! Understand? We're the only ward that has a rug. It's new, I mean it's clean, and we mean to keep it that way.
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: Why don't you hang it on the wall?
Miss Greene: Your wisecracks might have been appreciated in other wards, but in 12 they don't go over.
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: Is this 12?
Miss Greene: And what did you think it was? One?
Virginia Stuart Cunningham: How long have I been here?
Miss Greene: Too long.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, 4th movement
(1876) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played at a concert
See more »

User Reviews

 
....a ground-breaking film....
5 July 1999 | by boy-13See all my reviews

Considered brutal and scary in the day of its initial release, "The Snake Pit" was a ground-breaking film with its look into the horrors of a mental institution. Giving the film its vibrancy and life is the elegant Olivia De Havilland. This fine actress goes to town in this fascinating portrait of a young woman, Virginia Stuart, who, soon after marriage to the handsome Robert Cunningham (Mark Stevens) , descends into a world of paranoia and insanity. He takes her to an institution, but conditions there are foreign to Virginia. This Hollywoodization of life in a mental hospital, though tame compared to reality, still packs a punch. We follow this delusional woman as she tries to come to grips with where she is, falls in love with her kind-hearted doctor, Mark Kirk (Leo Genn), befriends other patients, and tries to hide out in the hospital. Celeste Holm has a minor, but welcome role as Grace, a fellow patient who takes a liking to and protects the confused Virginia.

What a score for the lovely De Havilland! She really gets to show her stuff in this emotional role, and got an Oscar-nomination for her efforts. And kudos to director Anatole Litvak for a wonderful, but hard-to-take visit into a woman's not-all-there mind and her institutionalized world.


46 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Russian

Release Date:

13 November 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Snake Pit See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed