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Deathtrap [Blu-ray] (1982)

Michael Caine , Christopher Reeve , Sidney Lumet  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AAT6G1S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,236 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

If you were a famed mystery playwright with a devastating string of recent flops what would you do for a can't-miss thriller script? Beg for it? Pay for it? Or would you kill for it? You would if you were Sidney Bruhl the leading character in Ira Levin's dazzlingly funny deliciously scary Broadway-smash-turned-movie-hit Deathtrap. Michael Caine starts as Bruhl and Christopher Reeve stars as Bruhl's one-time student who's written a play so flawless "even a gifted director couldn't ruin it" ...and who requests Bruhl's production help. And Dyan Cannon is Bruhl's loving wife who doesn't want the student helped to an early grave. Sydney Lumet directs Deathtrap's hairpin twists with such drop-dead wit and delightful dread that you'll stop laughing only long enough to gasp in surprise.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hit To Die For October 1, 2003
Format:DVD
When DEATHTRAP was first released, the poster--reproduced on the cover of this DVD--offered a graphic akin to a Rubik's Cube. It is an appropriate image: originally written for the stage by Ira Levin, who authored such memorable works as ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE STEPFORD WIVES, the play was one of Broadway's most famous twisters, and under Sidney Lumet's direction it translates to the screen extremely well.
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.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's no SLEUTH, but it ain't bad... July 29, 2000
Format:DVD
I first saw DEATHTRAP on television well over ten years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. I finally purchased the DVD to give it another go and came away almost as pleased.

Caine gives his usual wonderful performance as a playwright who has run out of hits and Reeve is better than I've ever seen him, before or since, as an aspiring playwright seeking Caine's guidance. Cannon is irritating as Caine's wife, but she's supposed to be, so I do not feel that her performance weakens the piece at all.

The Plot: Reeve approaches Caine with his first attempt at a play, seeking his idol's criticism. Caine finds the play to be incredible, a surefire hit, and, desperate for such a hit for himself, begins scheming (as only Michael Caine can scheme) ways to get Reeve out of the picture and claim the play, DEATHTRAP, as his own. From this point the picture starts on a rollercoaster ride that doesn't let up until the end. Fiction and reality cross and blur again and again making for a delightfully dark comedic thriller.

My only real criticism of DEATHTRAP is its similarity to SLEUTH, another great twisted thriller also starring Michael Caine. While both films on their own are incredible, fans of SLEUTH may find DEATHTRAP a bit less satisfying - there simply aren't as many surprises. But this is certainly not a reason to avoid this film, as it is a genuine treasure.

The DVD has a minimum of features - no trailer, just a chapter search selection (which is more than SLEUTH had!) and, unfortunately, the film is presented full-screen as opposed to widescreen. This did not bother me as the entire film has a claustrophobic feel to it as the action generally occurs in close quarters.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More twists and turns than a roller coaster February 10, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw "Deathtrap" in the theater when it came out in 1982. When VCRs became big, it was a film that I rented a few times, eventually buying my own VHS copy. Now I own the DVD. It's a great film.
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A devilishly delicate plot! January 29, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Pooh on you Leonard Maltin. "Deathtrap" is a movie rich in texture and plot. Although the film features three "big name" stars (which can often be distracting), the viewer still finds himself immersed in the film's characters. Plot twist follows plot twist, rushing toward an unexpected ending ripe with tension. Michael Caine was in some clunkers during this period; this is not one of them. An effectively irritating performance by Dyan Cannon, and Christopher Reeve in an unusual character perforance. Treat yourself to this film -- you won't regret it!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It was a bit corny but I still enjoyed it.
I saw it at the movies when it first came out and always wanted to see it again. It was a bit corny but I still enjoyed it.
Published 3 hours ago by Debbie Forbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit scratched, had come loose in cover. Still ...
Bit scratched,had come loose in cover. Still played no problems.
Published 13 days ago by Jennifer Dougan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie with a suprise that will leave you breathless!
Published 17 days ago by Michael L. Winters
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to own it.
I love this movie. It has such twists and turns and of course Chris Reeve. Michael Caine and Diane Canon round it out, how can you go wrong. Read more
Published 18 days ago by cactusgal
4.0 out of 5 stars The plot twists are amazing. Then the final plot twist is
Guess I was expecting more. The first hour is wildly entertaining. The plot twists are amazing. Then the final plot twist is, for me, a dud. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. E. Knopick
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun movie that stands the test of time
Great plot twists and well developed characters made this a fun movie. Even the references still make sense in today's world. Great cast!
Published 2 months ago by Anon A Mouse
5.0 out of 5 stars still a great movie after all this time
This movie is funny, clever, and real does have lots of surprising but believable twists. I loved it when in first came out, and it is just as good now.
Published 2 months ago by Jill B.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great
It was okay. Kept it very much like a play on film. Too many twists. The Ending was
kind of silly.
Published 2 months ago by Janice
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerhouse
Classic for a reason, the performances are top-notch although I did not enjoy it as much as I recalled having liked it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C Lynn
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind crazy!
We have watched it several times over the years.
It does have quite a few twists and turns.
Good acting
Published 3 months ago by J. Crider
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