7.0/10
10,952
58 user 51 critic

Deathtrap (1982)

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

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Ira Levin (based on the stage play by), Jay Presson Allen (screenplay by)
6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Daniel (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Daniel Isaacson attempts to determine the true complicity of his parents Paul and Rochelle Isaacson, who were executed for espionage in the 1950s.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Mandy Patinkin, Lindsay Crouse
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Treat Williams, Jerry Orbach, Richard Foronjy
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A TV producer who is the mistress of her boss, tries to have him make their relationship more permanent, and begins a relationship with a younger man. When her boss hears of this, he tries ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Ali MacGraw, Alan King, Myrna Loy
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A washed up, alcoholic actress who is prone to blackouts wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she kill him and, if not, is she in danger?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Garbo Talks (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The son of a woman dying of a brain tumour tries to fulfil his mother's last wish: to meet Greta Garbo.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Ron Silver, Carrie Fisher
Equus (1977)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Colin Blakely
The Offence (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A burnt-out British police detective finally snaps whilst interrogating a suspected child molester.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The lawyer Federico Fendi has reasons to believe that his wife Carla in secret is Rome's highest paid prostitute.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimée, Didi Perego
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A female lawyer takes an accused wife-murderer as a client, but finds herself morally compelled to betray him one way or another.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Don Johnson, Stephen Lang
Lovin' Molly (1974)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Spanning nearly 40 years from 1925 to 1964, two Texas farm boys, straight-arrow Gid and laid-back Johnny, fight over the affections of the beautiful and headstrong Molly Taylor, who ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Beau Bridges, Blythe Danner
Sleuth (1972)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man who loves games and theater invites his wife's lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Alec Cawthorne
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: James Mason, Maximilian Schell, Simone Signoret
Edit

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
Edit

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. 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:

The trap is set... for a wickedly funny who'll-do-it. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ira Levin's Deathtrap See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,238,977, 21 March 1982

Gross USA:

$19,282,134

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Reeve appeared in Death Trap in 1982 when he was still starring in the Superman franchise. In the movie he plays Clifford; a gay man. One homophobic critic wrote, "Christopher Reeve proves he can really fly around the room in his latest movie; even without his cape!" 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

CBS added 4 minutes to this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Surpasses Sleuth
17 September 2005 | by konoverSee all my reviews

The comparison to Sleuth, the earlier stage-play-turned-film, is obvious and upon my first viewing I too thought Sleuth was better, but Deathtrap has, at least for me, many more repeat viewings in it than Sleuth.

I purchased Deathrap in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart, figuring that it had Caine and the underrated Reeve and was worth the 6 bucks. It was one of the finest DVD purchases I could've picked up.

It's one of those best-kept-secrets that movie buffs always are always delighted to discover. And it's totally worth repeat viewings.

Though Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine turned in bravado performances in Sleuth, I was doubly impressed with Christopher Reeve as Clifford Anderson. Reeve, rightfully associated with his now legendary portrayal of Superman, stole the show in what should've been an Oscar worthy performance. I've always felt Reeve was a type-cast actor who didn't get much of a chance to shine outside of the Superman films and a few other flawed but entertaining films like Somewhere in Time, but this film shows that his potential was truly tapped and put to use, thank goodness.

I absolutely relished Michael Caine's performance. He was glib, deliciously manipulative and sadistic. And watching him work with Reeve and Dyan Cannon was an absolute pleasure. In fact, it was thanks to this movie that I got into a "Michael Caine phase" and started renting as much of his stuff as humanly possible.

As for Deathtrap, there's enough juicy dialogue in here to fill up its "memorable quotes" section. (Unfortunately, much of the dialogue would inherently spoil the immensely entertaining plot).

It's really, really hard to talk about the movie without spoiling important plot points that are infinitely more fun to discover on your own. Needless to say, it's a must-see. But for me, it was the greatest and most rewarding blind purchase of all time.

Repeat viewings are a must.

And it deserves to sit alongside Sleuth on your DVD shelf.

I'll leave you with this beautifully written quote from the film: "I wonder if it wouldn't be...well...just a trifle starry-eyed of me to enter into such a risky and exciting collaboration...where I could count on no sense of moral obligation...whatsoever."


40 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed