104 The Snake Pit

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MichaelB
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104 The Snake Pit

#1 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:56 am

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THE SNAKE PIT
(Anatole Litvak, 1948)
Release date: 22 April 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)

Pre-order here.

Shocking and highly controversial at the time of release, The Snake Pit broke new ground in Hollywood cinema for its depiction of mental illness and its treatment. Olivia de Havilland (Gone with the Wind, The Heiress), delivers an astounding performance as a young bride who suffers a breakdown and finds herself committed to an asylum.

Director Anatole Litvak (Sorry, Wrong Number, Anastasia) had to fight to persuade producer Darryl Zanuck to back the film, but the result remains one of the most potent and powerful films to tackle the subject and was an influence on later works such as Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor (1963), Robert Rossen’s Lilith (1964) and Miloš Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).


INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:

• 4K remaster from original negative
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with author and film historian Aubrey Solomons
• The Battles of Olivia de Havilland (2019): critic and film historian Pamela Hutchinson discusses the revered actor’s illustrious career
• Neil Sinyard on ‘The Snake Pit’ (2019): a new appreciation by the author and film historian
• Theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Lindsay Hallam, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• All extras subject to change

#PHILTD104
BBFC cert: 12
REGION B
EAN: 5037899071588

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bugsy_pal
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#2 Post by bugsy_pal » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:44 am

That cover art is amazing - where did it come from? Powerhouse/indicator continues to impress as a quality label...

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MichaelB
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#3 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:03 am

Designer Nick Wrigley (aka peerpee of this parish) says on the Twitter:
It's from an original 1948 illustration supplied to us by Fox, which I don't believe was used in any promotional material at the time – but I jumped on it.

KJones77
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#4 Post by KJones77 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:23 am

Saw this one not too long and thought it was terrific. One of De Havilland's best roles.

I'll definitely be picking this one up.

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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#5 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:59 am

Wow, what an incredible month from Indicator this is

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Finch
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#6 Post by Finch » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:59 pm

Marvellous cover! Anyone here seen the film? Glenn Erickson liked it a lot in his review of the DVD 14 (!) years ago. TimeOut was less keen.

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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#7 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:07 pm

It's a great movie, among the best to come out of this movement of exploiting audience fears in the newly popular idea of psychotherapy. It's a great, clean premise too: you're in an institution and don't know why. Do you belong there? I showed it in class a few years ago as an example of this movement and it was very effective for my students at illustrating what Hollywood was doing with these fears

KJones77
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#8 Post by KJones77 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:12 pm

Agreed with Domino. Really, really interesting film. Not only is it great and filled with that great sense of doubt alluded to, but Olivia de Havilland is fantastic. May be my favorite performance of hers.

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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#9 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:17 pm

Agreed, she's much more deserving of an Academy Award here than in the Oscar winning perfs she gave on either side of it. But 1948 was a tough year for Best Actress, as Irene Dunne and the winner Jane Wyman also gave equally Oscar worthy perfs

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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#10 Post by HitchcockLang » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:11 pm

When I saw this in the newsletter, I got very excited, but then I saw "Region B" and I slumped. Does anyone have this for Region A?

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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#11 Post by domino harvey » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:14 pm

Nope. As the announce says, this is a worldwide Blu-ray premiere

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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:10 pm

...and that was accurate for only a couple days, as Twilight Time has announced they'll be releasing it

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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#13 Post by MichaelB » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:23 am

Final specs:

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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#14 Post by MichaelB » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:29 pm


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domino harvey
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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#15 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 01, 2019 9:53 am

Indicator could upload Sinyard's interview to YouTube and tag it with ASMR and get 100K views! I thought Hutchinson's discussion was disappointing though, offering a very surface level appreciation and look at the work of DeHavilland, featuring all of one non-obvious title from her long and vast career amongst the greatest hits package. And at under ten minutes, it's not like there wasn't plenty of time to delve into non-canon works starring De Havilland...

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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue May 07, 2019 5:41 am


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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#17 Post by L.A. » Thu May 16, 2019 2:12 pm


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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#18 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:13 pm

The system afforded to the audience in getting to know de Havilland’s character demonstrates the screenwriting talents from the beginning. At first this is done through flashback from the perspective of the man she loves, which would normally provide some reserved distance but because he sees her with such affection his memories feel like more of a primary source, even through just a few samples of her erratic behavior. So by the time we switch over to de Havilland’s memories, we feel like we have a sympathetic baseline to access her perspective. Her own self-doubt is expressed so transparently with intimacy that regardless of our sense of reality we are exposed to her subjective reality, which is what really matters, and the base to measure against our typical objectivity - rather than the movie’s - to get an impact of sanity testing stead of a sterile diagnostic. Since we do the assessments through empathizing with her, the process doesn’t allow an observant backseat but an active participation from the audience to diagnose ourselves, and thus feel a connection and responsibility to her, fostering a kind of therapeutic relationship as participant vs our traditional role of observer.

The intrusion of other “normal” people are treated as such- condescending threats. The scene where they publicly exploit her condition to an audience of her staff laughing during what feels like a cross-examination or parole hearing is painfully isolating, and the film finds a very challenging but clean space to operate between making de Havilland feel manipulated regardless of whether she is being definitively gaslit or is actually psychotic, for to her eyes and ours she is simply experiencing harm- and this is our, and her, priority. It’s a surprisingly mature, merciful stance on the subject, by tenderly building rapport with a chaotic mind.

The attention to the diversity in organizational culture is on point to heightening the flawed humanity that makeup health care providers too, without resorting to outlandish evil (which surely existed and works wonders in a noir like Caged Heat, but feels more accurate here in its ordinary demonstration of cold detached superiority in filling a role). The objective assessments of psychotherapy are dated, but for 1948 the film does capture an era with a sensitivity that wasn’t normative, an admirable position to take at this time. The ending that allows for multiple causes for the condition embodies a biopsychosocial model of diagnosis, and leaving the finale as only the beginning of a journey of therapeutic growth is encouraging rather than the neat-little-bow one might expect out of a lesser film on therapy from this period.

The film isn’t only revolving around a tour de force performance. The editing and camerawork glide, fade, and abruptly cut depending on the mood of our star, whether in a memory (which can be recalled smoothly or as an unwelcome intrusion) or via stimuli-responses in the ward presently. This is a great film, and one very different than Lilith in methodology, especially its composed script and less intrusive camera looking for an alliance around the oppressed from her perspective, rather than detailing raw humanity and finding the existential cohesive tissue in the later work. Both are terrific for their own reasons, and each have their respective merits as exhibits on the concealed spaces of psychological institutions and the experience of living with mental health issues.

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Re: 104 The Snake Pit

#19 Post by filmyfan » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:48 pm

wow what a tremendous film.

Finally got round to watching my copy and I was very impressed.

Marvelous stuff and ODH is superb actually.

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