The Snake Pit


Action / Drama / Mystery

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Olivia de Havilland Photo
Olivia de Havilland as Virginia Stuart Cunningham
Victoria Horne Photo
Victoria Horne as Ward 33 Inmate
Lee Patrick Photo
Lee Patrick as Asylum Inmate
Lora Lee Michel Photo
Lora Lee Michel as Virginia - Age 6
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
897.49 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 3
1.71 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 48 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dbdumonteil8 / 10

Olivia De Havilland: actress extraordinaire!

Anatole Litvak 's interest in madness didn't begin with "the snake pit" In one of his thirties French movies,"Coeur de Lilas" ,one sequence depicted a person gone crazy and it was already impressive.

Some will say times have changed and the hospital which Litvak depicts is a thing of the past.Sure it is.But what could he have done?Just have a look at the scenes in an insane asylum in Mankiewicz ' s "Suddenly last Summer"(1959) or those in Georges Franju's "La Tete Contre les Murs"(1960)?A decade later ,mentally ill people were still regarded as monsters.That scene in "Suddenly..." where Elizabeth Taylor accidentally ends up with the raving mad women and which is not in the original Tennessee Williams' play was certainly influenced by "the snake pit" .Some will say the Freudian methods are childish and simplistic .They are for sure.But have a look at Gregory Peck's treatment in "Spellbound" (1945) or De Havilland's in "Dark Mirror" (1946).And I love all those movies I mention.60 years on.Think of it.People will not argue when they watch a school or a prison of long ago.That's why I do not understand the "It has not worn well" which too many critics (mostly European) use when they talk about Litvak's 1948 film.

One thing which has worn well is De Havilland's performance.After being Erroll Flynn's fiancée in (excellent) movies by Walsh or Curtiz ,she tackled much more ambitious parts after the war.She was never afraid to make herself ugly

or old ("the heiress" "hold back the dawn"),she and her peer Bette Davis were actresses ahead of their time ,not just pretty faces as too many contemporary actresses are today.It's no wonder if Davis named Meryl Streep "her successor" .

In "snake pit" De Havilland's acting should be studied by future actresses .She can express everything ,and the moments when she becomes a human wreck down in a "snake pit" (the snakes might be all those arms and hands)are the most impressive.

Reviewed by MartinHafer9 / 10

a good try in attempting to put the viewer in the mind of a mental patient

While this is not a perfect film, it does offer wonderful insight into what it must feel like to be alone and confused and hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital. Our leading character (played so well by Olivia DeHavilland) finds herself locked up and has no idea WHY, WHERE she is or HOW long she's been there. This confusion and terror is probably one of the best aspects of the movie as it offers rare insight. Also, for those in the 21st century, it offers great insight into how primitive these hospitals were--with several nurses that would have fit in well in a Nazi concentration camp. They were incredibly cruel and rigid and did a lot to keep everyone CRAZY!!! In fact, it was amazing to see ANY improvement at all due to this! About the only shortcoming was the possibility that many viewers will be beguiled into thinking ALL cases of schizophrenia were caused by childhood trauma or conflicts. This analytic school of thinking was fathered by Freud and was very popular in the 1940s, though nowadays, most experts would agree that there is a very strong biological component to schizophrenia and few cases are the direct result of poor parenting. In fact, the psychiatrist generally does a good job but really blows it by attributing the origin of her conflict to poor mothering and not being allowed to suckle sufficiently!

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Into the harrowing snake pit

Can't believe it took me so long to watch 'The Snake Pit', and can't think of a reason why when it had all the reasons for watching it as with most of the films watched by me. The subject, based upon a semi-autobiographical novel, was very daring back then as was its approach to it. The cast is such a great one (hard to go wrong with Olivia De Havilland, Celeste Holm and Leo Genn),Anatole Litvak did a lot of good to brilliant films and Alfred Newman seldom disappointed when it came to film scoring.

'The Snake Pit' is an outstanding film in every regard and its courageousness in attacking such a hard subject with the amount of impact it did is truly admired. Have not seen a film this harrowing for a long time, by both late 40s standards and today's) and it is one of my most emotionally powerful recent film viewings. Being somebody myself with mental health problems this struck a chord with me. Some may consider the portrayal of the medical department "old-fashioned" today, but that wasn't an issue with me when everything else was so brilliant. 'The Snake Pit' is a contender for Litvak's best film, has one of Newman's best scores and has one of De Havilland's best performances.

Visually, 'The Snake Pit' is beautifully made. It is very beautifully and atmospherically shot with some very creatively vivid camerawork that adds to and even enhances the claustrophobia and seething atmosphere. Personally do not think Litvak's direction was too strident, any harshness that it had was not overdone and was effective in showing such a difficult subject so uncompromisingly instead of any sugar-coating. Newman's score is one of his most haunting and suitably unsettles and the sound quality adds to the eeriness.

It is a very intelligently scripted film that is both eerily seething and movingly sympathetic. Not an easy balance to achieve and even either or is hard to do, but 'The Snake Pit' is one of the few films to nail it. The story is hugely compelling and is boldly harrowing for showing how scary mental breakdown is, intelligent in showing the slow recovery process and is also very moving. Much has been said for the heart-wrenching "Going Home" sequence and for good reason, while the realism of the characters and the setting is frightening.

One would be hard pressed to find more moving portrayals of female inmates anywhere on film. De Havilland's performance, authoritative and affecting, is one of her very best, while Celeste Holm and Beulah Bondi are excellent as always. Leo Genn's sympathetic turn is striking too.

Summing up, wonderful. 10/10

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