The Snake Pit (Litvak, 1948)

The Snake Pit (Anatole Litvak, 1948)

I caught the beginning of this on TCM a few months back and had been rather intrigued to finish it since. A woman sits on a park bench, hearing voices in her head, and she responds to those voices with a voiceover of her own. The entire time birds chirp in the background and the sun beats down on her. It’s eerie, but still soft. Unfortunately, this intro is nothing like what the rest of the film would become – a body mostly plagued with excessive melodrama and a whole bunch of psychoanalyzing of the main character. When the film follows the protagonist as she moves from ward to ward, meeting interesting women along the way and forming a close bond with her doctor, it is actually quite good. But the film centers around the mystery of why she is in this institution, a mystery whose answer wasn’t that important to me. And when we learn what it is, it’s highly disappointing anyway.  5.75/10


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