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Any man who saves a dog is a hero in my book.

Author: mark.waltz from United States
29 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fire insurance investigator Norman Foster exposes a crooked scheme from a powerful businessman Sidney Blackmer in this decent B drama with Evelyn Knapp as the niece of the villain who falls in love with the hero. She causes problems for him in the opening scene and ends up rescuing her dog who hitches a ride with him and ends up in a burning building. That fire is a small oven flame in comparison to the scary blaze that comes out of the fraud and entraps seemingly hundreds if workers in a warehouse. The screams of panic on these extras seems genuine which adds a ton of terror into the film's mood. That makes this truly a bail biting experience, rising it above the normal level of B melodrama.

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A decent time-passer.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
17 January 2014

Aside from some bad acting from Evalyn Knapp at the beginning of the picture, "The Fire-Trap" is an otherwise decent little B-movie. Like most Bs, it does have a cast of lesser-known actors, lower production values and a running time of about an hour. It's not at all a distinguished film or one you should rush out to see but it is an amiable time-passer.

The film begins with Betty (Knapp) behaving like an obnoxious, spoiled rich girl--which is pretty much her character. However, after she falls for Bill (Norman Foster) she becomes a softer and more believable character. Bill is a fire investigator and neither he nor Betty realize that her father is planning on deliberately burning down his own business and claiming the insurance. Can this be stopped in time? Yeah,...whatever.

The best scenes are near the end with the fire--the worst, clearly, at the beginning. The bottom line is that if you do choose to see this film, it is only fair and the DVD copy from Alpha Video is awfully bad. So, overall, I really cannot see a lot of compelling reasons to see this film.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Story meanders too much and the leads are unlikable to be much of anything

Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
6 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Young woman plays a game of chicken with a young man speeding down the road unaware that he is racing to a fire. She cuts him off and he crashes into a light post. He takes her car and continues on his way. It's a meet cute that leads into a story of the pair and how it connects to arson and insurance fraud. It's a good looking film with a real sense of place thanks to it not being sound stage bound (The fire department scenes are neat). The problem for me was that the film seems to meander all around being more about the semi idle rich then about crime. Whats worse is the characters are more annoying rather than endearing. I lost patience with the film about a third of the way through and began to do other things until the last ten minutes when boy and girl race off to prevent a fire at warehouse that was being intentionally set. All the excitement at the very end-its great but there's a slog to get there. Its not a bad, though its probably just okay at best, movie but it was probably the wrong movie for my mood last night.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just because you could afford accidents doesn't give you the right to start them!

Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
29 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**SPOILERS** Combination screwball comedy and crime drama having to do with insurance appraiser Bill Farnswoth, Norman Foster, trying to get to the bottom of an insurance policy that has the person who's property is insured well over, about 100 times, then what its worth.

Suffering a fender-bender,which totaled his car, driving to a fire Bill has it out with the person, party girl Betty Marshall played by Evalyn Knapp, who caused him to drive off the road and smash his car into a telephone pole. Commandeering Betty's car Bill has her dog Wag, played by Corky the Dog, jump in the car with him. At the fire scene Bill is unable to save his insurance claim papers-Bill's office was in the burning building- but saved Wag by throwing him out the window where he was caught by the firefighters waiting downstairs.

With Betty and her Uncle R.A Rawson, Oscar Apfel, grateful for Bill's heroic efforts in saving Wag it later makes it very difficult to have his boss Cedric McIntyre, played by Sidney Blackman who was the evil Satanic cult leader Roman Castevet in "Rosemary's Baby", fire him.

McIntyre together with Rawson had concocted a scheme to burn down Rawson's warehouse and split the insurance money a cool one million dollars. McIntyre had falsely appraised Rawson's inventory to be worth well over three million dollars insuring it for only on million being the smart and shrewd businessman that he is. The real story is that Rawson was flat broke and about to declare bankruptcy with nothing to insure at all at his warehouse. Both Rawson and McIntyre planned to have the place burned down and have the insurance money, at least in Rawson's case, bail them out financially.

The fact that Bill noticed the vast discrepancies in what was insured, one million dollars worth of inventory, and what was actually in the warehouse,not more the 200 to 400 dollars worth of cans of gasoline, made him a thorn in both McIntyre and Rawson's behinds. Having McIntyre rescinded his firing of Bill, after both Betty and even Rawson's came to his defense, Rawson tried to pay him off through his unsuspecting niece Betty. It was Betty who ended up giving Bill an expensive luxury car for all the difficulties she had, in his smashing his old broken down jalopy, caused him. This lead Bill to get suspicious and dig even deeper in the Rawson's insurance claim that lead both him and McIntyre to jump start their devious plan.

It's when Betty realized what both her Uncle and McIntyre were up to that she joined Bill, whom she earlier dropped, in his mad dash to the Rawson warehouse to stop the arson that Rawson and McIntyre were planning to start. A fire that would not only burn down the warehouse but a textile factory next door and possibly kill and injure hundreds of hard working, this in the depths of the Great Depression, men and women employed there!

Nothing really that much of an either screwball comedy or crime thriller with only the dog Wag, in the short time that he's in the movie, giving a really standout performance. There's also the spectacular fires sequences, from stock newsreel footage not special effects, that keep you watching and at the edge of your seat. In seeing if both Bill and Betty, who ends up trapped in the flaming warehouse, can save the day and the hundreds of textile workers before the deadly flames engulfs them.

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