Do you ever start watching a movie and then wonder how it is that you’ve never seen it? That’s how I feel about “Deathtrap” (1982), directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Michael Caine, Dyan Cannon and Christopher Reeve and based on a play by Ira Levin. You’d think with an all-star lineup like that, I’d’ve come across it at some point in the last 30 years.
Well, fortunately, I’ve corrected the oversight, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should, too.
“Deathtrap” is the story of Sidney Bruhl (Caine), a playwright who hasn’t scored a hit in a long while. Sustained by his wife Myra’s (Cannon) funds, Sidney knows he’s got to come up with a hit if he’s going to regain any self-respect, much less a fortune of his own. Enter Clifford Anderson (Reeve), who once took a class with Sidney and sends him a copy of his play, “Deathtrap,” which anyone can see is sure to be a hit. Sidney has the only copy. Temptation ensues.
I really don’t want to give anything away, so I can’t say much else, just that nothing in this movie is what it seems. Every time you think you know what’s going on, there’s another twist, and it’s not just twisty but twisted, with lots of “ohhh” moments when it dawns on you what’s really happening. It’s also funny and great light entertainment if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend.