Issued to Cinema’s (Exhibitor’s) in the UK, these were known as Pressbooks in the USA. Featuring inside an eclectic mix of marketing elements to help the Cinema publicise the movie such as Posters, Competitions, T-shirts etc..
Sidney Bruhl is a playwright with a problem. A master of the mystery genre, his latest whodunit has been hooted off stage by an angry first-night audience. In the words of one critic, there was more drama in the fight for cabs outside the theatre than there was on stage.
Sidney is almost out of options. He can head home to East Hampton to play with his writer’s blocks or he can live off his ailing wife’s money. Only a new smash hit can salvage his reputation and his Pride, and Sidney is written out.
Enter Clifford Anderson, formerly a student at one of Sidney’s college seminars. Clifford has written a first play, a mystery… a very good mystery… and the only person who’s read it is Sidney Bruhl who cheerfully admits that he would kill for a hit.
Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon and Irene Worth co-star in Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap”, a Warner Bros. release directed by Sidney Lumet and adapted by Jay Presson Allen from the longest running mystery in the history of the Broadway theatre. Burtt Harris produced the LAH Film Group Production with Ms. Allen as executive producer.
Lumet recalls seeing “Deathtrap” early in its run – before he had any notion of directing the screen version.
“What struck me was its humour and the element of surprise. Nothing is what it ‘appears on the surface. Nobody is what they seem.”
“You know there will be a murder, perhaps several murders. Sidney Bruhl collects weapons.. .as a hobby. . and his home contains enough implements of torture and death to outfit the Tower of London.”
“But who will do what to whom and with which keeps shifting.”
Lumet observes, however, that “Deathtrap” differs from conventional mysteries in that there’s no detective to gather the suspects in the drawing room, slot the puzzle pieces in place and name the killer. In “Deathtrap”, he says, “the audience is the detective.”