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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 (107 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 (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AAT6G1S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,657 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
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hit To Die For October 1, 2003
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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12 of 13 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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10 of 11 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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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Armchair Detective Everywhere-- April 21, 2003
---and even if you don't feel like "detecting," stick around and savor this tightly written romp of a comedy. "Deathtrap" is about as near as you can come to a Broadway play without being there.
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!
-sweetmolly-Amazon Reviewer
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Caine in a fascinating suspense thriller March 8, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve) is a budding writer who has just completed his first play "Deathtrap". He takes his manuscript to the house of established playwright Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) to get his valued opinion. Bruhl thinks that the play could be a winner but doesn't let Anderson know this as he wants to get a part of it for himself as his latest play has just flopped and been savaged by the critics. Bruhl is going through a dry patch and can't come up with any new ideas and sees "Deathtrap" as a way of making some big money and offers Anderson the benefit of his expertise by helping him finish the play and polish it up and they can then form a partnership. Anderson thanks Bruhl for his advice but says he prefers to keep the play himself as he had put a lot of work into it and while he appreciates Bruhl's offer of help he wants to leave the play as it is. Bruhl realises the young writer is not going to co-operate so he has to think up an alternative plan. Will he murder Anderson and then claim the play is his or will he just let him walk away? Bruhl's wife Myra (Dyan Cannon) knows her husband is desperate and is capable of murder so she does everything she can to talk him out of any criminal intentions and to let Anderson go. What happens next is totally unexpected and shock follows shock in the amazing plot twists that follow. Further complications occur when next door neighbour Helga Ten Dorp (Irene Worth) calls at the house as she is a psychic and is fearful that something terrible has happened (or is about to happen) in that house. She wanders around the room uninvited (much to the horror of the Bruhls) touching various objects and receiving vibrations which gives her clues as she puts together her thoughts and conclusions. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Blah compared to the original content.
I saw this right after seeing the play and was very disappointed but, still happy I own it.
Published 4 days ago by Programmed Drone
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery with Surprise Twists
Nostalgia again, seeing Michael Caine at his best and Christopher Reeve before his tragic accident. It seems like a photographed stage play, but it works. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Adele Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies
I wanted to introduce my 13-year-old to this movie, so bought the DVD. I just loved watching it again after so many years! And my daughter loved it, too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ms. Minerva
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by easyernie
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 1 month 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 2 months ago by Jennifer Dougan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie with a suprise that will leave you breathless!
Published 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 4 months ago by Anon A Mouse
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