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DEATHTRAP is one of those films that it is very difficult to discuss, for to do so in any detail gives away the very plot for which it is famous. 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. After a particularly brutal opening night, an old student named Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve) sends him a script for a play he has written. It is called "Deathtrap," and Sidney recognizes it as a surefire hit. Just the sort of hit that would revive his career... indeed, a hit to die for. And when Clifford visits to discuss the play, events suddenly begin to twist in the most unexpected manner possible.
Like Anthony Shaffer's equally twisty SLEUTH, DEATHTRAP is really a story more at home on the stage than the screen--to reach full power it needs the immediacy that a live performance offers. Still, under the expert guidance of director Sidney Lumet, it makes a more-than-respectable showing on the screen. Much of this is due to the cast, which is remarkably fine. Michael Caine gives a truly brilliant performance, Dyan Cannon is funny and endearing as Sidney's relentlessly anxious wife, and Christopher Reeve gives what might be the single finest performance in his regrettably short acting career.Read more ›
The plot can't really be discussed here without depriving first-time viewers the opportunity of experiencing all the unexpected twists and turns for themselves. And there are twists and turns aplenty!
Christopher Reeve does a great job of breaking his "Superman" stereotype in this, his first post-Superman role. Reeve plays a homosexual playwright who's just written a sure-fire hit Broadway show, and Michael Caine plays a once-successful playwright, Reeve's mentor, who'd kill to have another hit. From this inauspicious beginning, the twists start coming fast and furious, and are a delight to watch.
If you've never seen "Deathtrap" you can still safely buy it sight unseen; I guarantee you'll enjoy it. Or maybe you saw the film years ago and want to see it again. Either way, I recommend picking yourself up a copy. You won't regret it.
Over the hill playwright, Sidney, (Michael Caine) is blocked. He is despondent over his last three miserable failures. His wealthy, clingy wife, Myra (Dyan Cannon) adores him and his plays. Enter fledgling author, Clifford (Christopher Reeves) who, it just so happens, has written a bullet-proof play and is flattered that successful Sidney is willing to look it over.
Michael Caine clearly has a glorious time playing stuffy, self-loving Sidney, and Christopher Reeve shows a guileful side not seen before. I'll take exception to other reviewers by saying Dyan Cannon cracked me up as the all-too-doting, somewhat sex starved wife. She also could give Jamie Lee Curtis a run for her title as the "Scream Queen." Ms. Cannon can rock the rafters!
Have a group of friends over and enjoy. Remember: don't give away the plot!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon and Chris Reeves (in memory) make a tour de force in this acidic and merciless plot that shows us what's goin' on backstage. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
The twists and turns in this movie kept me guessing. I could easily watch again and again. (review by a friend).Published 4 months ago by Darren Peel
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