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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 (91 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Format: 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 (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AAT6G1S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,057 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
39 of 40 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Bought it as a Christmas gift for friends, I have seen the movie and always enjoyed the plot, story, characters, some very funny incidents ..
Published 13 days ago by Margaret McAdam
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
A very young Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in a surprisingly wicked story. I saw this movie many, many years ago and it's hardly EVER on TV so I wanted to own it...... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Susan Goryan
3.0 out of 5 stars Keeps U on Ur toes
I didn't know anything about this movie, which I'm grateful for... It had so many twists and turns.
It was nice to see Mr. Reeve can do more than be SUPERMAN
Published 1 month ago by Heather Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Caine fan
Very happy with the purchase. Worked fine and will enjoy for years to come. On of my favorite Caine movies.
Published 2 months ago by pepper martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Deathtrap
Definitely shows how far people will go, (if only in the movies) people might go to keep the fame alive.
Enjoyed the twist at the end. Kind of weird.
Published 2 months ago by AMM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performances all around.
Excellent thriller, very funny, campy and entertaining. Dyan Cannon at her best since The Last of Sheila. Christopher Reeve as yoi've never seen him in Superman. Read more
Published 3 months ago by linda salem
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies of Christopher Reeve's and Michael Cain's!
I love all of their movies but this is one of their best movies of all time I think, thanks for a great movie!
Published 3 months ago by Hollena
4.0 out of 5 stars Always Effective. First of its kind.
Filming a stage play (essentially) was adventurous when DEATHTRAP was made and the decision to stick closely to the Broadway production was wise: the cat-and-mouse whodunit... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Dunaway
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred the Butler matches whits with Superman.
Such a fan if this movie. I'm so glad it was finally released blu ray. Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve play off each other brilliantly.
Published 3 months ago by jramsmooth
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie with lots of great twists
A great movie with lots of great twists. Hadn't seen it in years. Enjoyed it just as much as the first time.
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
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