Pretty Poison

Watch Pretty Poison

"She's such a sweet girl. He's such a nice boy. They'll scare the hell out of you."
  • Approved
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 7.0  (3,922)

Pretty Poison is a 1968 psychological thriller film directed by Noel Black, based on the novel She Let Him Continue by Stephen Geller. The movie stars Anthony Perkins as Dennis Pitt, a disturbed young man recently released from a mental institution after serving time for burning down his family's home. Tuesday Weld plays Sue Ann Stepanek, a high school cheerleader who becomes entangled in Dennis' web of lies and criminal behavior.

The plot centers around Dennis' delusions of grandeur and his need for validation, which propel him to become romantically involved with Sue Ann. He convinces her to help him with a plot to blow up an oil refinery, all the while feeding her misinformation about his employment with the CIA. As the two become closer, their plans become more dangerous, and their relationship takes a dark turn.

Anthony Perkins delivers a chilling performance as Dennis Pitt, imbuing the character with a sense of unpredictability and menace that keeps the audience on edge throughout the film. His portrayal of a mentally ill man struggling to keep his violent impulses in check is both unnerving and captivating. Tuesday Weld is equally impressive as Sue Ann, a seemingly innocent girl who is unwittingly drawn into Dennis' world of deception and violence. She conveys a sense of vulnerability that makes her character sympathetic, while also displaying a steely determination to see their plans through to the end.

Beverly Garland rounds out the main cast as Sue Ann's mother, a woman harboring secrets of her own. Her performance adds depth and complexity to the story, providing insight into Sue Ann's troubled home life and the forces that may have led her to get involved with Dennis.

The film's pacing is measured, allowing the tension to build as the audience watches Dennis and Sue Ann's plans become increasingly perilous. The cinematography is expertly executed, with the use of long takes and close-up shots heightening the film's sense of unease.

Pretty Poison is a masterful exploration of mental illness, adolescent desire, and the darker impulses that can lie beneath a seemingly normal facade. It delves deep into the psyche of its characters, exposing their fears, desires, and vulnerabilities in a way that is both unnerving and fascinating. The film's themes are timeless, and its exploration of the darker side of human nature remains just as relevant today as it did in 1968.

Overall, Pretty Poison is a gripping psychological thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Its outstanding performances, expert pacing, and masterful direction make it a must-see for fans of the genre.

Pretty Poison is a 1968 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.

Pretty Poison
Where to Watch Pretty Poison
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (3,922)