Entertainment Weekly - 06/04/2004
"Olivia de Havilland delivers an Oscar-nominated performance..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Virginia Cunningham (de Havilland) appeared to have had an idyllic life - a nice home, a loving husband and prospects for a writing career. But something wasn't right. Confusion, doubts about her husband's love, even violent outbursts led Virginia to be confined in a mental institution. She is put through a series of brutal treatments, including being forced into close quarters with patients whose disorders far exceed her own. The belief - the shock of the experience will return her to sanity. De Havilland's gripping turn as a woman desperately trying to return to normalcy in The Snake Pit is supported with an outstanding ensemble cast, including Leo Genn, Celeste Holm and Mark Stevens.
Based on the novel by Mary Jane Ward, THE SNAKE PIT is a frank portrait of mental illness. Virginia Cunningham (Olivia de Havilland) wakes up only to discover that she's in the state insane asylum. Unable to remember the events that led to her being institutionalized, Virginia slowly puts the pieces together through a series of flashbacks. As her doctor, Mark Kirk (Leo Genn), continues to struggle with Virginia's condition, he finds that she only appears to be headed further into a downward spiral. Director Anatole Litvak and de Havilland were nominated for Oscars for their superior efforts.