A convict hiding in Chinatown assumes the identity of a cripple to track down a businessman who framed him 15 years previously. He discovers that his daughter has fallen in love with the businessman's son.
Incredibly far-fetched and melodramatic film has Lon Chaney playing Canadian miner Gaspard, a good-hearted man who has his mine and love of his life (Dagmar Godowsky) stolen by the no good Benson (Alan Hale). Years later Benson shoots a man in self defense but Gaspard testifies that it was a planned so that Benson gets sent off to prison while at the same time his wife, Gaspard's ex, dies and her son just happens to go to Gaspard. Things take an even stranger twist as Gaspard begins to have feelings for the boy just as his father is about to be released from prison. All of this "plot" happens in a 45-minute span so needless to say there's really not too much development and in the end this melodrama is mainly going to be for those who must see everything Chaney has done. Fans of Chaney will enjoy his performance here even if it's certainly not one of his best. Chaney had a remarkable talent to make you feel pity for his characters and that's the case here. This character is almost too nice and then too mean to be believable but Chaney is able to pull it off. Hale is also good in his role as the bad guy but Godowsky doesn't have too much to do. Stanley Goethals is pretty good as the child Chaney falls for. The IMDb lists Lon Chaney, Jr. has having a small part playing "a boy's hands" but I wasn't able to spot such a scene. The story itself is just way too far-fetched for one to really have any emotional connection to. It takes a matter of ten-minutes for Chaney's character to turn from a great man to a bitter one and then back to a great man and this simply isn't enough time for his character to grow on you. Another problem is that everything seems extremely rushed from the plot to the silly conclusion, which just comes off very badly. I'm really not sure if this was originally longer or not but there appears to be something missing. THE TRAP isn't a very good movie and there's really nothing too memorable about it so those interested in Chaney will be the only ones willing to stick around till the end.
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