Deathtrap (1982)


“I have a name and a reputation! Somewhat tattered, perhaps. But still good for dinner invitations and summer seminars.” – Sidney

Number of Times Seen – At least three times (Cable in the 80’s, 11 Feb 2013 and 6 Feb 2020)

Brief Synopsis – An award winning playwright who has had too much bad luck recently decides to murder his student in order to steal his new play.

My Take on it – One of the things that I love about plays is their ability to have such amazingly descriptive dialogue in order to make the characters come alive

When those plays are adapted for the screen, things need to be changed around a bit due to the added visual aspects of things that allow the scope to be widened.

This is a film that works really well due to the way that the dialogue is written.

Each of the characters have some great conversations along with diatribes that help make things so enjoyable to watch unfold.

The story only has 5 characters yet they have a great cast here.

Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon are all superb in their roles and help the viewer get a clearer understanding of their position son everything going on.

The plot of this movie plays out really well and is filled with some very intriguing and enjoyable twists and turns along the way.

Watching things play out the first time is fun, but on subsequent views, it gets even better due to the wya things are mapped out along the way.

The kind of dilemma that these characters face is one that many people can easily relate to and that helps the viewer empathize even more with these characters despite the fact that we are always very aware of the fact that the way that they are acting has many justifiable questions about the morality of it all.

Knowing this makes things even more interesting to sit back and let it all unfold.

Bottom Line – Fun film that works really well because the dialogue is written so superbly.  Caine, Reeve and Cannon are al great here and allow us to get a clear understanding of each of their characters. The story is filled with lots of great twists and turns that help keep things suspenseful and thrilling from start to finish.  The works quite well when you don’t know what to expect and works even better when you actually do.  The premise presented here is one that can relate to many people and that helps make us slightly empathize with the way that these characters act even though we know that there are justifiably moral questions about it all.  That dilemma helps make things even more intriguing to watch unfold. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director Sidney Lumet once commented on the real stage-play scenes seen in this movie: “We used the original set of ‘Deathtrap’ as our set for Sidney Bruhl’s flop play. The Music Box (Theatre) is dark on Mondays, so we shot there on a Monday, along with six hundred dress extras as first-nighters. Thus, the opening scene is a movie of a play-within-a-play which takes place within the play on which the movie is based. If that’s not completely clear, it’s at least a ‘first’!” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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2 thoughts on “Deathtrap (1982)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1982 | MovieRob

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