7.1/10
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56 user 43 critic

Pretty Poison (1968)

When a mentally disturbed young man tells a pretty girl that he's a secret agent, she believes him, and murder and mayhem ensue.

Director:

Noel Black

Writers:

Stephen Geller (novel), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anthony Perkins ... Dennis Pitt
Tuesday Weld ... Sue Ann Stepanek
Beverly Garland ... Mrs. Stepanek
John Randolph ... Morton Azenauer
Dick O'Neill ... Bud Munsch
Clarice Blackburn ... Mrs. Bronson
Joseph Bova Joseph Bova ... Pete
Ken Kercheval ... Harry Jackson
Don Fellows ... Detective
George Ryan's Winslow High-Steppers George Ryan's Winslow High-Steppers ... Drillmaster & Team
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Storyline

Dennis Pitt, now in young adulthood, has been conditionally released from a psychiatric hospital, where he had been institutionalized for an incident that occurred when he was fifteen. Despite the doctors believing he to be rehabilitated in not suffering from the fantasies which dominated his life, Dennis is still required to check in with his case officer, Morton Azenauer, once a week. Azenauer will do whatever he can to help Dennis survive in the outside world. A year following his release, Dennis violates the conditions of his release by moving without telling Azenauer, thus missing his weekly check-ins. He moves to Winslow, Massachusetts where he has gotten a job at Sausenfeld Chemical Co., his boss, Bud Munsch, the company, and his acquaintances in town not aware of his history. In not being truly rehabilitated, Dennis believes the company is part of an alien conspiracy to poison the water supply, including openly discharging chemical waste into the local lake next to the plant. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A shook-up story of the up-tight generation. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

19 July 1968 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

She Let Him Continue See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the start of the film, the owner of the stand throws garbage into the river. The plant at which Tony Perkins works discharges its effluent into the river and pollutes it. In 1968 this was all legal. The disposal of my waste into public property is called "negative externalities." The owner of the stand, and the manager of the factory, don't WANT to pollute public property but they had no incentive to do otherwise until around 1970 when Pres. Nixon created the EPA and signed laws into effect, called a Pigouvian tax, that caused polluters to share the social cost of the pollution. See more »

Quotes

Sue Ann Stepanek: You are some character, Dennis. I'm surprised the C.I.A. lets you out without a keeper.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
Music by John Philip Sousa
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A twisted, neglected gem, sparked by Weld and Perkins.
18 April 2001 | by gbrumburghSee all my reviews

"Pretty Poison" is one of those low-budget finds you discover every once in a great while on late-night TV or at the video store when none of the new releases pique your interest. Deftly adapted by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. from Stephen Geller's Book "She Let Him Continue," director Noel Black (in his debut) hits all the right marks with this thoroughly bizarre, inventive tale of madness and deception.

Loony, neurotic Anthony Perkins (about on par with his classic Norman Bates character) is a fidgety-looking arsonist who lures young co-ed Tuesday Weld into helping him pull off his next big "project." He finds Weld not only willing but his perfect match when it comes to cooking up schemes. To say any more would absolutely ruin this diverting, kinky little "black comedy." Suffice it to say there are enough forks in the road to keep your mind thoroughly on "drive."

Perkins and Weld are at their offbeat best here. Perkins goes without saying, but Tuesday Weld has always intrigued me with her coy, playful, deceptive little vixens. She has an off-the-wall style all her own! Just catch her in "Lord Love a Duck," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "I Walk the Line," "Play It As It Lays" (again with Perkins) or "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" to see precisely what I mean. She's absolutely bewitching! Beverly Garland, too often wasted in films, has one of her best roles here as Tuesday's flinty mom who becomes an unwitting element in the scheme.

If weird is your game, "Pretty Poison" is the name. You won't be sorry.


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