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Death Trap 1982 ***


Ira Levin’s hot Broadway play is transferred intact to the screen under the careful supervision of the meticulous Sidney Lumet. Michael Caine plays Sidney Bruel, the jaded author who meets an aspiring writer Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeve) who has written a great play. The presence of an armoury of weapons on the walls gives some idea where the verbal sparring will end. Rivalry and jealousy are under the surface, making Death Trap an ideal companion to 1972’s Sleuth. Dyan Cannon is the worldly wife, and the close-quarters sparring is always fun to watch. The conceit may be theatrical, but the playing is a joy.


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