Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Snake Pit (1948)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Snake Pit (1948)

In director Anatole Litvak's psychological drama about the horrors of mental institutions:

  • the scenes of the "snake-pit" nature of the mental institution (Juniper Hill State Hospital) and the shadowy images of inmate torture
  • the famous top-shot and pull-back image of inmate Virginia Stuart Cunningham (Oscar-nominated Olivia de Havilland) surrounded by insane and babbling patients as her voice-over explained: ("It was strange - here I was among all those people, and at the same time, I felt as if I were looking at them from someplace far away. The whole place seemed to me like a deep hole, and the people down in it like strange animals, like, like snakes, and I'd been thrown into it, yes, as though, as though I were in a snake pit")


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