Pitfall

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Rather flatly scripted, but a not uninteresting clash between moral tale and film noir. Powell plays the archetypal suburban man, blessed with family, home and job, but suffering a vague itch of awareness that life hasn't lived up to expectations. His work as an insurance claims agent lures him into involvement with a siren (Scott) and the inevitable aftermath of violence, deceit, and sudden death. From this he is rescued by the exercise of a double standard (Scott pays for her murder, Powell gets away with his); but the film still contrives a troubled intimation that things ain't quite what they used to be in suburbia. Burr, modelling himself on Laird Cregar (who would have made more of the role), gives one of his better performances as the hulking yet oddly pathetic private eye who digs the pitfall in trying to pursue his own hopeless infatuation.

Release details

Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: André De Toth
Screenwriter: Karl Lamb
Cast: Dick Powell
Lizabeth Scott
Jane Wyatt
Raymond Burr
Byron Barr
John Litel
Ann Doran
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