Monday, September 16, 2013


1982 American Feature

Cast: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth and Henry Jones
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Jay Presson Allen, based on the play by Ira Levin

A famous playwright, suffering from a series of Broadway flops, covets the new play written by one of his students and will do anything to claim it as his own, even murder.



  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Ira Levin's play Deathtrap premiered on Broadway in 1978. Directed by Robert Moore, it was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play. With 1,793 performances, it holds the record for the longest running mystery/thriller on Broadway. Cast members during the four year Broadway run included Victor Garber (who originated the role of Clifford Anderson and received a Tony Award nomination for his performance), Farley Granger, Stacy Keach and Robert Reed.
  • Some scenes in the film were shot on the set of the Broadway production of Deathtrap, which was still running at the time the movie was made.
  • According to separate interviews with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, they both had hesitations regarding the filming of the infamous kissing scene. Reportedly, they both "had to consume large amounts of alcohol in order to keep themselves calm and drunk enough that they'd do anything anyone asked them to do". Caine has said that he regretted the scene and vowed to never film another gay scene, which he hasn't to date. For television broadcast, the kiss is replaced with an alternate take, with Reeve merely caressing Caine's face while gazing into his eyes.
  • Critics Stewart Klein, Jeffrey Lyons and Joel Siegel have cameo appearances in the film as themselves.
  • In 2012, Ira Levin's estate denied the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center permission to revive its production of Deathtrap. The refusal was initially based on a short nude scene featuring the character Clifford. Later permission was granted on condition that the staging avoid any suggestion of a physical relationship between Clifford and Sidney, so the Center chose not to proceed under that restriction. The staging had presented the pair as a male couple who embraced and kissed, which is depicted in the film version but was not in the original play.

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