Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. Every time you think you have a handle on Deathtrap, another plot twist comes along. T he stage thriller was almost killed off by Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth. There is perhaps, however, some small shred of hope. Check out the exclusive TVGuide.com movie review and see our movie rating for Deathtrap It is fair to observe, however, that "Deathtrap" is a comic study of ancient and honorable human defects, including greed, envy, lust, pride, avarice, sloth, and falsehood. It's a who gonna do it to who first. I saw DEATHTRAP late in its initial Broadway run at the Music Box with Farley Granger in the lead. Deathtrap has an incredibly interesting plot, but somehow director Sidney Lumet focuses the film on the least interesting aspects of the story. It had already been bought for the movies at the highest price any non-musical, and the question in my mind was how to open it up for the screen. It is really amusing to see before our eyes the mechanism of the crime story we are told being laid bare, without its effectiveness being in any way affected. The premise is that an accomplished playwright, whose star is falling, receives a magnificent manuscript from a former student and so he plans to off his protege and appropriate his play, to the (loud) protests of his wife. Deathtrap Review War ensemble. By Justin Clark on March 12, 2015 at 10:33AM PDT. Caine gets drunk and goes home to his farmhouse in Connecticut and sinks into despair. Interest in the movie depends on its surprises, but its delight grows basically out of the human characteristics of … With Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth. So to sum it up: the real life play "Deathtrap" was about a fictional play of the same name and the movie "Deathtrap" is based on said play. While not a great film, Deathtrap is enjoyable and one that is incredibly easy to enjoy. I hope this grossly underrated, overlooked film has not become too difficult to locate because it a 'must' for any Hitchcockian, Agatha-phile or lover of great film. And that's precisely what happens in DEATHTRAP, based on a chilling play by Ira Levin ("Rosemary's Baby"). Deathtrap (Sidney Lumet, 1982) A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script. Today, I take a look at Deathtrap and try to answer the question, "Is it any good?" The sets are so good they're almost distracting (a windmill appears to operate in close association with the Bruhls' bed). One of very few movies I couldn't instantly solve or predict and worth a second or even third viewing, "Deathtrap" gets a 9/10 and earns every iota of it. When a playwright with writer’s block receives play one of his students wrote, he … This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think it showcases what a fine actor he really was, before the unfortunate riding accident cut him short. He shares his pain of failure with his loving wife Myra. But why quibble with an obvious attempt to bribe its male viewers when nothing will change it now? The play’s author, Helga Ten Dorp, proudly stands to take in their ovation. One of the most underrated films of all time! The actor plays him as a little puppy or a homicidal maniac. It contains mild violence, salty language and sexual innunendoes that should not, for the sake of the plot,be described here. The audience stands up, and applauds to the debut of a play called Deathtrap. The movie suddenly transforms into a stage version of the film with actors playing the parts of Sidney and Clifford. 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. Ira Levin's Deathtrap is one of those mystery films in the tradition of Sleuth that would be very easy to spoil given any real examination of the plot of the film. | It's a thriller that depends on all sorts of surprises for its effects, and you may continue reading in the confidence that I'll reveal none of them. How about Dyan Cannon? Awesome movie! Director: Sidney Lumet Cast: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon Distributed by: Warner Bros. Archive Running Time: 116 minutes MPAA Rating: PG Release Date: November 20, 2012 Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars “Deathtrap” is a fun mix of comedy and cat and mouse genre. Ebert, along with Janet Maslin, and Gary Arnold of The Washington Post noted the similarities to Caine's 1972 film Sleuth, and similarities have subsequently been noted by film historians. They grill him, subtly, and discover that absolutely no one else knows he has written the play. It is a new thriller, and Caine sees at once that it's a masterpiece. I saw this when it first came out in the theater, and it was so much fun, with so many plot twists and double-crosses--some you can see coming and some not. And what about Dyan Cannon ? It's an excellent mystery movie soaked in wit. The mystery has some glaring flaws which do detract somewhat, and I was not wholly satisfied with the ending, but watching Caine and Reeve under Lumet's direction with Levin's elevated verbiage was enough to ensnare my interest and keep it captive the entire length of the film. A minor work in the filmography of the author of "Twelve Angry Men", this black humor comedy is nonetheless extremely well crafted and offers as a bonus interesting considerations on the functioning of suspense, on the confrontation of the true, the believable, the false and the fallacious. Deathtrap (1982) To make Sidney's (Michael Caine) slump all the more painful, Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve), 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. Read movie and film review for Deathtrap (1982) - Sidney Lumet on AllMovie - Sidney Lumet's cinematic adaptation of Ira… Even Dyan Cannon - who I normally don't care for - is perfectly cast in a role that exploits her annoyance value as an actress. Another interesting feature is the way Myra, the main character's wife, finds out about herself in time of danger and crisis (forgive me for not giving you more details about that, spoiling the fun being out of the question). But the opening premise is extremely clever: Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) is the famous author of mystery plays, but these days he seems to have lost his touch. As for the cast, I would say it is worthy of this... great little film. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Deathtrap; Is the next 'Great American Play' worth killing for, or will the search be a Deathtrap...? It plays absolutely fair, more or less, and yet fools us every time, more or less. Director Sidney Lumet, no stranger to film, is quite good for the most part in creating the tension the film needs to motor on. One of the best actors of the last 50 years and in this film as good as he has ever been. Movie reviews for Deathtrap. Interest in the movie depends on its surprises, but its delight grows basically out of the human characteristics of its performers. Movie Review: Deathtrap (1982) A mystery thriller, Deathtrap is firmly stagebound but still offers enough cerebral tricks and turns to pique interest. Warner Bros. released Deathtrap to theaters on March 19, 1982.Sidney Lumet directed the film starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, and Dyan Cannon. Sidney Bruhl returns to his New England home from the latest in a long series of Broadway flops. Unlike Tinseltown's version of HELLO, DOLLY!, Jay Presson Allen's screen adaptation of Ira Levin's hit Broadway thriller couldn't wait for it's stage incarnation to shutter before putting it up on the silver screen, so producers wisely decided to make the most of it's lengthy White Way run! A work like Deathtrap would've impressed Hitchcock (there's a reference at one point, in due notice, to Dial M For Murder, also based on a play about the intricacies of plotting murder), as it's about the devilish wanton things with characters, and being stylish with camera-work so that nothing is ever too static. Perhaps. You really see the range in his acting abilities in this movie from "exhaling cheeseburgers" to downright frightening. Deathtrap creeps its way onto Blu-ray in a 1.78:1-framed 1080p treatment that largely, despite a few flaws, looks modestly impressive. Movie 8 of 1982 and 98 overall in my journey through films of my lifetime. The mystery has some glaring flaws which do detract somewhat, and I was not wholly satisfied with the ending, but watching Caine and Reeve under Lumet's direction with Levin's elevated verbiage was enough to ensnare my interest and keep it captive the entire length of the film. Warner Bros. released Deathtrap to theaters on March 19, 1982.Sidney Lumet directed the film starring Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, and Dyan Cannon. The film is top-notch. Awards I love this film to pieces. ... Deathtrap isn’t a bad movie so to speak but I … I would not hesitate to put this adaptation of 'Death Trap" in a top 5 list of the best stage-to-movie adaptations ever. Deathtrap seems an unusually skillful and satisfying example of devious entertainment. Critic Roger Ebert gave it three stars, calling it "a comic study of ancient and honorable human defects, including greed, envy, lust, pride, avarice, sloth, and falsehood." Okay,it recalls "Sleuth" (1972).Okay ,it borrows the first part from Clouzot's 'Les Diaboliques" .But forget "sleuth"and "Diaboliques" and you can enjoy this armchair thriller:after all,Sidney Lumet has always been fond of these stories which take place in an enclosed space,and from the very start of his career,"twelve angry man" ,but also "the hill" "murder on the orient express" and his towering achievement "dog day afternoon".And anyway it's based on a play by Ira Levin ("the Stepford wives" and of course the brilliant "Rosemary's baby") Besides,in his preface to Agatha Christie's plays ,Levin mentions Anthony Shaffer .And Michael Caine's presence makes us think of Mankiewicz's celebrated movie. Shame really - very rarely do I watch a film and am left feeling disappointed at the end. REVIEW: I saw Deathtrap one Sunday afternoon on cable when I was a kid and just really couldn’t get into it. Part of the tension in a show is maintained by shocking the audience by focusing the attention on the performers on one part of the stage, then shifting that focus abruptly. 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." CW Reboots Walker but Forgets to Give Him a Personality, Something as Extraordinary as Birth Itself: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber on Pieces of a Woman, 10 Upcoming Films That Could Shake Up Oscar Season, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Eli Goree, and Kingsley Ben-Adir on the Brotherhood of One Night in Miami. Deathtrap has more twists than a bucket of snakes, but it's short on substance . This film is essentially a pitch-black dark comedy and a murder mystery. Actors: Christopher Reeve. The screenplay was adapted by noted screenwriter Jay Presson Allen. You can't do that in a movie, where attention is forced by camera and editing, and I don't believe that that cameraman Andrzej Bartkowiak's restless viewpoint and editor Jack Fitzstephens' punctuated pace quite accomplish that. | It's more fiendishly complicated than, for example, Caine's similar outing in "Sleuth.". The deviously cynical Michael Caine is delightful as usual while his partner Christopher Reeve (lights years away from "Superman") brilliantly blows hot and cold. That doesn't leave me much to write about, however. Deathtrap is funny, sophisticated, witty, and classy. This film is criminally underrated. I'm not talking about the 'gay' thing, that shouldn't be looked upon as anything more than a garnish to the piece. The stage is set for murder, betrayal, and at least an hour and a half of surprises. It's great and the acting is brilliant. Deathtrap runs like a play within a movie about who did what to whom, as it primarily takes place on one set. 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