Classic Cinema: Pitfall (1948) – By Jason S. Lockard

Film noirs are a lost art if you ask me! So the classic ones are gems! One of those overlooked film noir’s is 1948’s Pitfall, Starring our star of the month Dick Powell.

Born Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell on November 14, 1904 in Mountain View, Arkansas. Powell attended Little Rock College and than began his entertainment career as a singer with the Charlie Davis Orchestra. He recorded a number of records moved to Pittsburgh and when Warner Brothers studios bought Bruswick Records they signed Powell to a contract in 1932 and his film career would be begin.

Dick Powell made a huge impact in the entertainment world acting in many great films. He was one of the founders of Four Star Television program and starred in many TV shows. He even had his own anthology series entitled The Dick Powell show. Not only was he a singer and actor, but he also sat in the directors chair. In 1948 Powell took the reigns of the lead in a little known film noir Pitfall.

The film follows John Forbes (Powell), a family man bored with his 9 to 5 job at an insurance company. Forbes craves excitement in his day-to-day life. He wish comes true when he begins investigating an embezzlement case and meets model Mona Stevens. Forbes begins to fall for the seductive Stevens and falsifies reports and he find himself in a downward spiral till that he may never recover from! Pitfall is one of those films that you can’t easily forget!

Dick Powell married three times and had four children. There is a lot of controversy over how he contracted cancer. Many says it was during the filming of The Conqueror, of which he was directing. They filmed in St. George, Utah, downwind of U.S. above-ground atomic tests. On January 2, 1963 Powell died from lymphoma, seven years after The Conqueror was made.

Dick Powell has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and left a legacy of music, film and TV that will live forever. So if you love film noirs and you have never seen Dick Powell. By all means check out this film. Until next month this is Jason S. Lockard reminding you if you want to see a good movie check out a classic.

Moral Rating: Violence
Audience: Parental Guidance
Genre: Film Noir
Length: 88 Minutes
Released: 1948
Our Rating: A-