7.0/10
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57 user 47 critic

Deathtrap (1982)

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Ira Levin (play), Jay Presson Allen (screenplay)

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6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Sidney Bruhl
Christopher Reeve ... Clifford Anderson
Dyan Cannon ... Myra Bruhl
Irene Worth ... Helga ten Dorp
Henry Jones ... Porter Milgrim
Joe Silver ... Seymour Starger
Tony DiBenedetto Tony DiBenedetto ... Burt - the Bartender
Al LeBreton Al LeBreton ... Handsome Actor
Francis B. Creamer Jr. Francis B. Creamer Jr. ... The Minister (as Rev. Francis B. Creamer Jr.)
Stewart Klein Stewart Klein ... Stewart Klein
Jeffrey Lyons ... Jeffrey Lyons
Joel Siegel ... Joel Siegel
Jenny Lumet ... Stage Newsboy
Jayne Heller Jayne Heller ... Stage Actress
George Peck George Peck ... Stage Actor
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Storyline

To make Sidney's slump all the more painful, Clifford Anderson, a student of one of Sidney's writing seminars, has recently sent his mentor a copy of his first attempt at playwrighting for Sidney's review and advice. The play, "Deathtrap," is a five character, two act thriller so perfect in its construction that, as Sidney says, "A gifted director couldn't even hurt it." Using his penchant for plot, and out of his desperate desire to once again be the toast of Broadway, Sidney, along with Myra, cook up an almost unthinkable scheme: They'll lure the would-be playwright to the Bruhl home, kill him, and market the sure-fire script as Sidney's own. But shortly after Clifford arrives, it's clear that things are not what they seem! Indeed, even Helga Ten Dorp, a nosey psychic from next door, and Porter Milgram, Sidney's observant attorney, can only speculate where the line between truth and deception lies. Written by Craig C. Bailey

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Join us for an evening of lively fun...and deadly games. [UK Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ira Levin's Deathtrap See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,238,977, 21 March 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,282,134
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Names of plays that playwright Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) had written were "The Murder Game (a hit) and his latest "Murder Most Fair" (a flop). Co-star Dyan Cannon actually once had appeared in a movie called The Murder Game (1965), directed by Sidney Salkow, having the same first name as Caine's character. See more »

Goofs

When Sidney has the Deathtrap script and threatens to throw it into the fireplace, the fire isn't lit. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the actor on stage delivers an unintelligible line]
First Audience Member: It's the worst play I've ever seen.
Second Audience Member: I can't believe Sidney Bruhl wrote it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Murderous weapons by Eoin Sprott. See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two distinct versions between the theatrical release and the television version. The famous "kiss" between Sidney and Clifford after Myra's death in the theatrical and video release is absent in the television version. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not as good as I expected
5 June 2008 | by Arctic_WizardSee all my reviews

Shame really - very rarely do I watch a film and am left feeling disappointed at the end. I've seen quite a few of Ira Levin's adaptations - 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'The Stepford Wives' - and liked both them, but this just didn't appeal to me.

When I read the plot outline - an award winning playwright (Michael Caine) decides to murder one of his former pupils (Christopher Reeve) and steel his script for his own success - I was excited. I like thrillers, Michael Caine's a good actor, Sidney Lumet's a good director and Ira Levin's work is generally good.

I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but all I'd say is there are LOADS of twists and turns. So many its kind of hard to explain the film's plot line in detail, without giving it away. I enjoyed the first ... 45 minutes, before the twists and turns began to occur and at that point my interest and enjoyment began to fade out. Though I have to give Lumet credit for the very amusing ending which did make me laugh out loud.

The main cast - Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon and Irene Worth - were all brilliant in their roles. Though Worth's obvious fake Russian accent got on my nerves slightly (nothing personal Irene, I think any actor's fake accent would irritate me). Not sure if Cannon's character was meant to be annoyingly funny but Dyan managed to annoy and amuse - at the same time.

Anyone reading this - I don't want you to be put-off watching this because of my views - give it a chance, you may like it, you may not. It's all about opinion.


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