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Pitfall

Pitfall(1948)

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  • Good, not great noir!

    • RedRain
    • 11/15/13

    I'll say one thing for Lizabeth Scott. She didn't play a conniving femme fatale like Gloria Graham, Gene Tierney, Mary Astor or Barbara Stanwyck. Scott just played cold-blooded murderers who didn't have one iota of morality. Here she is again and she is really good at it too. She only redeems herself at the very end by confessing to a murder she commits and gets Powell somewhat off the hook. His pangs of conscience, however, leave a lot to be desired. I get that Powell wanted to get out of the good boy mode he was cast in during the '30s but I never could quite buy him as a hard-nosed detective in film noir, (although in this film he's a bondsman). Interesting seeing Raymond Burr in his early pre-Perry Mason days. He usually played a gangster and he does so here. I gave this three stars. I like the film but I am just not crazy about Powell in the role of the errant husband who has to kill because of his liaison with Scott. What a mess he made for himself!

  • WHAT PRESCIENCE!

    • Dan Hand
    • 9/2/13

    Tania, below, says that this film is about "the stifling domesticity of the 1950's [sic]"-- the decade that the Left loves to hate (even more so than the 1920s and the 1980s)! That goes double, of course, for Feminists. Trouble is, this film premiered, in Atlantic City, on August 11, 1948. Furthermore, it was based on the novel of the same name, by Jay Dratler, published in 1947 (and begun who-knows-when). Kudos to Jay for his amazing foresight about just how "evil" American domesticity was to become, in the umpteen years after he first conceived of his novel! (Jay Dratler, Jr., by the way, born in 1945, became a law professor-- overcoming the evilness of his domestic upbringing, during his formative grade-school years, it would seem-- and has published several works on intellectual property. Just how prescient his 2000 tome "Cyberlaw : Intellectual Property in the Digital Millennium" turned out to be, however, is open to some debate, I suppose, since he already has had to supplement it with nearly two dozen releases, in the thirteen years since!?! Let's just put that down, though, to the stifling environment he suffered through, back in the evil 1950s....)

  • Where is "The Pitfall"?

    • Neal K
    • 7/17/08

    One of the classic films noirs. Where is it: not on tape, not on DVD, not at TCM?Why and where??

  • Great unknown noir

    • Tania
    • 9/28/07

    Unlike many noir films which pit the anti-hero against criminal figures, Pitfall uses the stifling domesticity of the 1950's as its force of evil - or is that good? It's hard to tell in this forgotten gem. Dick Powell is much more believable as the husband who gets sidetracked into adultery and blackmail than he is in his other film noir roles. The insecurities of a decade are on parade.

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