The Snake Pit


(out of 5)

This glimpse into the world of mental illness has not dated all that well, but it’s a powerful subject that is dealt with very well for its time.   plays a young woman who succumbs to insanity and is put in an asylum to be cured. Upon her arrival there, she can’t remember what it was that lead her to this point, and the film is spent in flashback while her husband () goes over her life, courtship, marriage and everything else until the point she is at now. Her doctor () tries his very best to find the key to her problem before she is forced back into a relapse and is in danger of being lost again. Very powerful stuff, led by a ripsnorting performance by the always terrific de Havilland.

USA, 1948

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the novel by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by , Anatole Litvak

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  Venice 1949

Cast Tags:  , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award
Best Sound Recording (20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department, Thomas T. Moulton, sound director)

Best Actress (Olivia de Havilland as “Virginia Stuart Cunningham”)
Best Directing (Anatole Litvak)
Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) (Alfred Newman)
Best Motion Picture (20th Century-Fox)
Best Writing (Screenplay) (Frank Partos, Millen Brand)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Actress (Olivia de Havilland)

Best Film

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Actress (Olivia de Havilland)
Top Ten Films

Venice Film Festival Awards
International Award
Best Actress (Olivia de Havilland)

Writers Guild Awards
The Robert Meltzer Award (Screenplay Dealing Most Ably with Problems Of the American Scene)
Best Written American Drama

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Anatole Litvak)



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