7.2/10
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53 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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Bud Munsch
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Mrs. Bronson
Joseph Bova ...
Pete
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Harry Jackson
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Detective
George Ryan's Winslow High-Steppers ...
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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

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Taglines:

She's such a sweet girl. He's such a nice boy. They'll scare the hell out of you. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

19 July 1968 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

She Let Him Continue  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tuesday Weld hated working with director Noel Black and told film critic Rex Reed that she thought she gave her "worst performance" in the film. See more »

Quotes

Dennis Pitt: Boy. What a week. I met you on Monday, fell in love with you on Tuesday, Wednesday I was unfaithful, Thursday we killed a guy together. How about that for a crazy week, Sue Ann?
Sue Ann Stepanek: "Unfaithful Wednesday?"
Dennis Pitt: I was just joking, Sue Anne. That was in another country. Forget it. I do, no kidding, love you. I love you.
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Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Thunderer
Music by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

 
A movie not to be missed
10 July 2006 | by See all my reviews

It mixes elements of Gun Crazy with Lolita and Night of the Hunter and may have influenced Terrence Malick's Badlands and Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade. With this I want to say, Pretty Poison is a very American and good and memorable movie.

It has the best performance of Anthony Perkins I have ever seen. And I have seen Hitchcock's Psycho. He plays a character who, like Billy Liar, lives in a kind of a fantasy world (he is not a teenager however, but well past 30) – a potential Lee Harvey Oswald, I guess. His confused state of mind is exploited by a premature, smart and amoral girl, played by Tuesday Weld who is also terrific. The world this confused character had constructed for himself and which gave him some kind of self confidence and cockiness crumbles fast and leaves him a helpless, quivering bundle.

There are some quirky details which lift the story from the ruts of formulaic story telling. The lower middle class girl drives a snazzy powder blue Triumph convertible sports car, the couple make excursions into the wilderness, the Perkins character has a nightmarish night out in hiding, with hooting owls, red lizards and headlights piercing the forest. It all has a slightly surrealistic quality which reflect the character's state of mind and gives the movie a dream like quality. The dialog is also good – the best scene for me was Perkin's phone call to the local sheriff in order to report a murder. Check it out.

In the final scene the girl meets a new boyfriend. I bet this is young Joe Pesci, but he is not in the credits. - Thanks to the IMDb message board I know now that I would have lost the bet. Still, it's a pleasant and exciting discovery.


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